This is an idea I’ve come across a couple of times, but this particular time I saw it in Best American Recipes 2005-2006. And this is the time when, a few weeks after seeing the recipe, I got sick and my sweetie made me spaghetti for dinner. And there were leftovers. And what on earth can you do with leftover spaghetti and too-sweet jarred pasta sauce that is quick and delicious?
I hoped the answer would be “make fried spaghetti.” And it is! I was kind of astonished at how delicious this was, with about 15 minutes of work.
This is simple, clean-out-the-fridge fare, so I’m not giving you a real recipe, but more of a method. Take it and run with it.
You’ll need some cold leftover spaghetti, and a little sauce. You want the pasta to be nicely flavored but far from sopping wet. Before you stir them together, set a skillet to heat on medium with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Stir in the sauce and anything else you have around that seems like a good idea (except cheese – that comes later). I had a couple of slices of salami, so I cut those up and put them in. I also added some sliced Kalamata olives, which I thought would balance the sweetness of the sauce. (They did so nicely.)
When you’ve stirred everything together and the oil is nice and hot, turn it all – still cold or it will get mushy, they say – into the skillet. Leave it to sizzle until the bottom is browning and crisping. Turn it over as best you can – you’ll have to do this in sections – and let cook until the other side is browning and the center is nice and hot. Some of the spaghetti strands will be blackening a little; don’t worry, the burnt ends are delicious.
If you want to add cheese, now is the time. Sprinkle it on top and run it under the broiler until it’s melted and as brown as you like it.
Slide onto a plate and devour. Or heck, eat it straight from the pan and save on dishwashing.