Leftover pasta is one of life's better burdens. Even after creating a beautiful sauce that perfectly envelops the noodles and makes you want to eat every last bite, you may end up with a sizable quantity of leftovers. You can, of course, just reheat your pasta and enjoy it as is, but you may become a bit bored with having 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 cheesy, luscious pasta pie.
The idea is pretty straightforward: you layer the leftover sauced noodles and cheese in a pie crust, which can be either homemade or store-bought, and bake it until it's heated through and the cheese is properly melted. This method can be employed with any kind of pasta, from ziti with meaty ragu sauce to pesto-covered angel hair noodles. The cheese can also be anything that suits your tastes, though you'll want a cheese that melts nicely. Italy boasts so many wonderful cheeses that would all be good choices: stringy mozzarella, assertive provolone, or creamy ricotta.
When building your pasta pie, don't get too deep, literally. The thicker your pasta filling, the longer it will take to heat through and possibly become overcooked. The last thing you want is a mushy pasta pie. Finally, consider topping it off with a bit more cheese and broiling the pie for a bubbly, browned crown.
Forgo The Crust For Frittata
Possibly the most famous pasta pie is featured in the classic food-focused film "Big Night" starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub. In the film, the two play brothers operating an Italian restaurant and gearing up for a visit from singer and Italian-American icon Louis Prima. In his honor, they make an outlandishly huge timpano, a dish of layered meatballs, Genoa salami, hard-boiled eggs, tomato sauce, and pasta. It's truly a sight to behold.
You don't have to go to the lengths they did to make a memorable pasta pie. If, however, pasta pie sounds like it may be a bit too much for your leftover pasta, there are other options. With nothing more than eggs and your leftover pasta, you can create another pie adjacent dish, albeit with less starch: frittata alla pasta. By stirring whisked eggs into the pasta and baking it in an oven-safe skillet or baking dish, you can have a hybrid breakfast-dinner dish that pairs well with a simple green salad. Any kind of pasta will do here, but if your pasta is heavily sauce, you may need to add extra eggs for the frittata alla pasta to properly set. You can even jazz the frittata up by adding ingredients that are complementary to the leftover pasta, like prosciutto, peas, tomato sauce, chunks of cooked Italian sausage, and fresh mozzarella cheese. The possibilities for pasta pie or frittata alla pasta are plentiful.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.