I very recently learned that the hole in the centre of that pointy pasta spoon/fork thingy is actually a measure for one serving of spaghetti. This is a huge revelation because I am terrible at judging how much pasta I’ll need to cook – I always make way too much and end up with seemingly useless leftover pasta. If you also struggle with this, you need to know about these five ways to use up leftover pasta. I mean, the spoon trick only works with spaghetti, so it’s safe to assume we’ll still be over-estimating how much penne, rotini, and fusilli we need to boil.
Single Serving Pasta Salad – Perfect for lunch the next day. Mix leftover pasta with a can of tuna or leftover chicken, some fresh or roasted veggies, and toss with oil and vinegar.
Individual Pasta Bakes – This works better with penne or rotini than it does with the long noodles. Basically you just throw your leftover pasta into an oven safe dish with literally whatever you want, top with cheese and breadcrumbs, bake until golden brown, and voila! Dinner!
Fill out a Fritatta – you can use your leftover noodles to amp up a frittata for lunch the next day. Again it’s endlessly customizable. Just chop up your leftover pasta, toss it with salt, pepper, eggs, grated cheese, cooked bacon, veggies, whatever you like. Pour the mixture into a skillet and cook on stove top over medium-high heat (without stirring) until the bottom is set, then transfer to a 350 degree oven until the top is set – about 10 minutes.
Add to Soup– Any old can of soup can be hearty and filling noodle soup! If your noodles are long (spaghetti style) you may want to chop them up first, then add them to the soup before heating so they re-soften in the pot. This i a good way to make a plain soup (like tomato) more of a meal.
Noodle Fritters – These are so good you’ll be cooking extra pasta on purpose to make them. They also freeze well in case you went really overboard on the pasta. Roughly chop 3 cups of leftover pasta with sauce mixed in, and add 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until it holds together – you may have to add some more panko if not. Scoop the mixture into balls and place in a pan with hot oil. Flatten and fry for about 2 minutes or until it turns brown and crispy, then turn and cook the other side for 1 minute (or until crispy). Place them on a paper towel to drain and eat immediately, or cool and freeze.
Show us how you give your leftovers new life and you could win SPUD credit and other prizes!
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