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Fried Spaghetti and Big News

October 12, 2010
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Fried Spaghetti

It’s certainly been awhile since my last post and it’s about time I spilled the beans on what’s been going on these past few weeks. Quincy and I just moved to NYC following a three week apartment hunting odyssey (or rat race if I’m being less charitable), and a week from tomorrow, I’ll be starting my studies at the French Culinary Institute.


That newsflash being out of the way, I present to you a crispy-fried spaghetti pancake, a dish that well represents the type of cooking/eating that has gone on over the last few weeks. I think most are familiar with the cupboard situation prior to any major move–the slowly dwindling refrigerator inventory and toward the bitter end, the sight of only a few lowly condiments and a petrified lime half rattling around in the produce drawer. The dish featured a above is a product of Sept. 30 (and our woefully depleted larder), less than 24 hours before departing Philly for our new Long Island City abode.

Truth be told, fried spaghetti isn’t new to me. My Dad, king of the simple and delicious, used to serve a sans-egg version to my brother and I as an after school snack, using only a heap of pasta, fried to a golden crisp in a buttery, sizzling hot pan. Though I think of the dish often, I’ve seldom made it for myself and the recent state of our pantry moved me to revisit it. Armed with the last egg and pat of butter, some leftover whole wheat spaghetti, a nub of mostly-rind Parmesan, and some simple seasoning, a delightful, slightly-more-substantial riff on my Dad’s classic was born.


Crispy Fried Spaghetti Pancake
serves 1, but scales up easily

This recipe is far from an exact science. You may want to mix in a different cheese, add some hot pepper flakes, or skew the egg/pasta ratio to give you a more/less egg-y creation. I tend to like mine drier, with just enough egg to hold everything together. A cast iron skillet is ideal.

1 egg
1 tbsp. or so of grated parmesean cheese, plus more for sprinkling
salt and pepper
1 to 1 1/4 cup leftover spaghetti, angel hair, or long stranded pasta
enough butter or olive oil (or a combo) to generously coat your skillet

Beat the egg in a bowl large enough to accommodate all of the pasta. Add about a tablespoon of grated cheese, plus a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the cold, leftover pasta and toss together until all strands are evenly coated with the egg mixture.

Add the pasta to a preheated skillet, coated generously with butter or olive. This is probably an instance when more butter/oil = better. Using the back of a fork or spatula, arrange the pasta into a thin layer, maybe 1/2 inch think. Cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat, adjusting the flame if the pasta starts to color too quickly. Flip when side 1 is uniformly golden brown. Cook side 2 another 3-4 minutes until it’s lovely and crisp, flip onto a plate and serve with additional grated cheese.

cooking side one, arranging the pasta into a thin layer

cooking side two

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sharon permalink
    October 12, 2010 9:31 pm

    Hi Hilary,

    Good luck in NYC and with your new learning experience at the French Culinary Institute. One of my co-worker’s daughter just moved to Brooklyn, NY. Thought maybe you would like to connect. Her name is Erin Easterbooks. I will get more contact information from her dad and forward it to you. Give our best to Quincy.

    Best regards,

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