Friday, March 11, 2011

An Egg Would've Been Helpful

...in making my pizzapasta.

I've eaten more than my share of cold pasta...it's really not very good.  Ranks right up there with the leftover pizza we used to store under the bed in our college dorm room.

Think cluggy, overcooked...completely unrelated to the original form, no matter how good it had been.

Eye opener...Doh! while watching...

David Rocco's television show Dolce Vita.  It's a good show...mostly with regard to the simplicity...lack of freaking out, when it comes to the essence of Italian cooking.  Use fresh ingredients that are in season...don't push them around too much...and you can't help but end up with good food. 

The show's focus on Florence is a bonus.  I've only been there once, for three days and two short nights, but cannot find words enough to describe the beauty of the food, art, architecture...and the boundless hospitality of the people.

So, about my noodles...I have plenty of experience with frittatas...eating them and cooking them.  I've fried patties of leftover risotto and eaten Asian noodle cakes.  Why it never occurred to me to use the same techniques with leftover Italian pasta is a mystery.

Pizzapasta is the answer.  The real trick is to use a good layer of olive oil in a hot pan...not just a thin sheen.  Then, take the time and use enough heat to form a real, brown crust.  This is what offsets the doneness...or in the case of my leftover take-away fettuccine...the overdoneness of the pasta.  The crunch contrasts with the silky softness of the pasta cake.

It is helpful to use an egg...probably about one egg per generous serving.  That's what holds it all together. That's what allows the pan-sized cake to be turned. 

Otherwise, you're doing what I did this afternoon, which was more like pasta hash.

Actually not too bad.  Better than standing in front of the refrigerator with a plastic container of leftover pasta... and a fork :)

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