Leftover pasta is one of life’s biggest burdens. Even after you create a beautiful sauce that perfectly coats the noodles and makes you want to eat every last bite, you may end up with a significant amount of leftovers. You can of course simply reheat your pasta and enjoy it as is, but you risk getting a little bored repeating the same meal over and over again. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to jazz up leftover pasta, and one of our favorites is to create a luscious, cheesy pasta pie.
The idea is pretty simple: You layer leftover sauced noodles and cheese into a pie crust, which can be homemade or store-bought, and bake it until it’s nice and warm. until the cheese is well melted. This method can be used with any type of pasta, from ziti with a meaty ragu sauce to angel hair noodles covered in pesto. The cheese can also be whatever suits your tastes, although you will want one that melts well. Italy has so many wonderful cheeses that would all be good choices: stringy mozzarella, bold provolone or creamy ricotta.
When making your pasta pie, don’t go too deep, literally. The thicker your pasta, the longer it will take to heat and risk becoming overcooked. The last thing you want is a doughy pasta pie. Finally, consider topping off with a little more cheese and toasting the tart for a bubbly, golden crown.
Read more: 16 Low-Carb Alternatives to Pasta and Noodles
Skip the Crust for the Frittata
Perhaps the most famous pasta pie is featured in the classic food-oriented film “Big Night” starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub. In the film, the two brothers play the role of operating an Italian restaurant and preparing for a visit from Italian-American singer and icon Louis Prima. In his honor, they prepare an incredibly huge timpano, a dish consisting of layered meatballs, Genoa salami, hard-boiled eggs, tomato sauce and pasta. It is truly a sight to behold.
You don’t need to go as far as they did to make a memorable pasta pie. If, however, the pasta pie seems to be a little too heavy for your leftover pasta, there are other options. With nothing more than eggs and your leftover pasta, you can create another pie-adjacent dish, but with less starch: frittata alla pasta. By incorporating beaten eggs into pasta and cooking them in a skillet or baking dish, you can have a breakfast-dinner hybrid dish that pairs well with a simple green salad. Any type of pasta will work here, but if your pasta is heavily sauced, you may need to add additional eggs for the frittata alla pasta to set properly. You can even jazz up the frittata by adding complementary ingredients to leftover pasta, like prosciutto, peas, tomato sauce, pieces of cooked Italian sausage, and fresh mozzarella cheese. The possibilities for pasta pie or frittata alla pasta are numerous.