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Turn leftover pasta into a delicious frittata | arts and culture







frittata pasta

This recipe is actually one of those “non-recipes” since it really is a set of guidelines, and the specifics will depend on how much pasta you have left over.




If you spend any time driving around the Berkshires, especially on the smaller roads, you are sure to see from time to time a handmade sign at the end of a driveway saying, “Fresh Eggs.” I am saying to you here, take advantage of the opportunity to buy local eggs from local farms and get to know your farmers! I spent over a year doing recipe-testing and copyediting for the “The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook,” by Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, with chef Brian Alberg, a gorgeous cookbook that not only has wonderful recipes but also includes beautiful tributes to numerous local farms in our region. Their message is get to know local farmers and support them!

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I am very lucky to have a special source for local eggs: my principal’s assistant’s mother’s chickens. Jeanette, now well into her 80s, has been raising chickens for decades, and between her her birds at Windy Knoll Farm and those of her neighbor, Scott, they get dozens of eggs every week from over 60 hens.

When I hear Jeanette talk about her chickens so warmly and lovingly, I know that they are happy birds. In addition to their feed, she lets them peck at leftover bread, vegetables, and other tasty treats, besides all the grubs and such that they like to find in the ground. As a result, these eggs are phenomenal and add so much wonderful flavor to whatever you are making. The yolks are so vibrant and delicious that the first time I brought a challah bread to a friend’s home for Shabbat, she asked if I used extra yolks because the color was so pretty! (I don’t!)

As an aside, when I was a child, we had an unfortunate experiment with chickens. My mother, sister, and I spent much of our summers in Connecticut near where my grandparents lived, while my father spent his weekdays at work in New York City. One year he thought it would be fun to raise chickens, but we were such city folk we had no idea. Too often a fox got into our makeshift chicken coop, and my mother never quite got over having to deal with this while our dad was off in the city.

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Eggs are so tremendously versatile, and a new cookbook, “The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook,” by Lisa Steele, will pique your interest with so many new ways to use them. I just made her cream fried eggs last weekend, with our local High Lawn Farm heavy cream, and they were so decadently fabulous.

One of my favorite things to do with leftover pasta is to make a frittata, and with local eggs it’s such a treat! This recipe is actually one of those “non-recipes” since it really is a set of guidelines, and the specifics will depend on how much pasta you have left over. You can also improvise, adding in chopped leftover vegetables. It makes a great lunch, or even dinner with a side salad. Leftovers (that means the leftovers of the leftovers!) can be kept in the refrigerator and are good the next day for lunch at room temperature or after just a short time in the microwave to take the chill off.

PASTA FRITTATA

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS

3 or more cups leftover cooked pasta combined with whatever sauce it had on it, loosely measured

3 to 6 large eggs

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the broiler.

If the leftover pasta has any large chunks in it, such as large meatballs or sausages or large pieces of vegetables, cut them into small pieces and mix to distribute throughout the pasta.

In a medium bowl, scramble 3 eggs. Keep the remaining 3 eggs out in case you need more.

Heat the olive oil in a broiler-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering and fragrant. It should not be too much oil, but more than just a thin coating. Once hot, pour the paste into the pan and spread out over the entire bottom of the pan. If all the meat and/or vegetables end up in one section, try to distribute more evenly.

Pour eggs over everything, getting some along the edges and in the center as well. The egg mixture should not fully cover all the pasta but should come pretty close. I like some of the pasta to poke up above the top of the egg. If you need more eggs, scramble one more. (If you have an exceptionally large amount of pasta you may need 2-3 more eggs.) Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top.

Allow the eggs to set partially until bubbles appear in the center and the egg near the bubbles has begun to set.

Place the skillet under the broiler. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, checking periodically to make sure it’s not burning. If all the egg has set and it’s puffy around the edges, it’s done. If not, continue to cook, checking at more frequent intervals. I like to let the pieces of pasta sticking up from the egg to get a bit crunchy, but that’s just me.

Remove skillet from the broiler and put an oven mitt over the handle to remind you not to touch it! Allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges to serve.

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