Last night, throwing caution to the wind, I finally made a frittata from left-over rigatoni and meatballs and even a hard-boiled egg. The egg found its way into this omelet when I mistook one of my husband’s hard-boiled eggs, stored in an egg carton, for a fresh one and tried to crack it open. Well, I thought, as long as I was taking a chance with the pasta, what harm could adding the egg do? Now, I’ve made plenty of pasta frittatas before, some of them chronicled on this blog. None, however, featured something like pasta with meatballs.
When I took the pasta from the fridge, about two cups of rigatoni and two meatballs, it looked rather dry, so I diluted a tablespoon of concentrated tomato paste with a little water to make an impromptu “sauce” for some added moisture. I heated up a non-stick skillet with a generous splash of olive oil and, over medium-heat, added the tomato paste for a quick cook. Then the pasta, cut-up meat balls, and chopped hard-boiled egg went in. Meanwhile, I whisked 6 eggs with a cup of grated Parmigiano, a handful of chopped parsley, along with some salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
After a light crust formed on the pasta, I added the egg mixture and, over a medium-low flame, cooked the frittata, pushing the cooked portion towards the center of the pan while letting the uncooked eggs slide down along the edges. When most of the eggs had set and the edges of the frittata had taken on some color, I placed a lightly oiled pizza pan over the skillet, flipped the frittata, and slid it back into the skillet to brown the uncooked side.
After 4 minutes or so, I transferred the finished frittata onto a cutting board. Putting all modesty aside, I must say it looked amazing. I cut it in halves and divided one of them between two plates, thinking that it, along with a salad, would be enough for dinner. However, the frittata was so good, we both went for second helpings and finished it off. “Why haven’t you made this before?” asked my husband.
Thinking back on this effort, I sadly recall how, as a young cook, I eschewed serving anything leftover. Back then, I’d prepare elaborate three- or four-course dinners and anything uneaten found its way right into the trash. Only now I ponder what I could have done with those left-over braises and stews, baked pastas and gratins, . . . If you’re a new cook, or even an old one, don’t make the same mistake I did. Save all your leftovers, store them properly, and use a little culinary imagination to re-purpose them. More than likely, you’ll be glad you did.