Don’t Throw Out That Leftover Pasta!

We’ve all been there. Cooking a pasta dish for a large group of people. Do we ever get the pasta measured out, just right? Of course, not! We pour in what we think is enough then, just in case, we throw in a handful more. Then another handful. Then… maybe just a dash more. The result? A beautiful pasta dish; a table full of happy guests and a pot full of leftover pasta.

Don’t throw it out! Here are a few handy ideas for transforming that excess food into something special.

  1. Frittata di pasta

This is a wonderful Italian invention for mopping up leftover pasta. And the bonus is that it can deal with leftover sauce too.

Serves 3-4


200g cooked spaghetti (or other pasta)

pasta sauce

2 eggs, beaten

25g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. olive oil

a small knob of butter

Mix cooked pasta with a little of the pasta sauce. You only need enough sauce to coat the pasta; otherwise it will be too runny when you add the egg. Then add egg and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.

Heat oil and butter in an omelet pan and tip the mixture into the pan.

Press down with back of a wooden spoon to create a flat cake. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. So, when the first side is cooked, flip onto a plate and then slide back into the pan. Continue cooking until done.

Serve immediately, cut into wedges, sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan.

(Source. – Rachel Kelly – The Guardian)


  1. Spaghetti Bread

This is a very unusual and fun way to combine leftover pasta with meatballs. This can be a big hit with kids!


cooking spray

1/2 teaspoon cornmeal

1 (16 ounce) package prepared pizza dough

1 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti

1/4 cup spaghetti sauce, or to taste

6 cooked meatballs, chopped – or to taste

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Roll pizza dough on a floured work surface into a 9×12-inch rectangle.

Mix spaghetti with spaghetti sauce in a bowl until pasta is coated. Spread spaghetti and sauce down the center of the dough rectangle, leaving about 1 inch at the top and bottom uncovered. Spread meatballs in a line down the center of the spaghetti. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over spaghetti and meatballs. Roll the dough over the filling, starting at a long edge. Pinch ends and seam tightly closed. Transfer roll to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until crust is browned and filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush roll with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Serve warm or cold


  1. Malaysian-style spicy fried noodles (mee goreng)

This is a great little recipe for using whatever needs using up and can be adapted to other leftovers.


vegetable oil

2-3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

cooked noodles or pasta (I used spaghetti)

leftover shredded cabbage

bean sprouts or other crunchy vegetables (carrots or peppers would be good too)

leftover roast meat (I used a mixture of roast pork and some chunks of cooked chorizo sausage)

50g cooked prawns, (optional)


omelet made from 2 eggs, cut into strips

2 tbsp dry sherry (or mirin or shaoxing wine)

4 spring onions, sliced, to serve

thinly sliced fried shallots, to serve (optional)


3 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (I used Lingham’s but Maggi or Sriracha would be good too)

1 tbsp ketjap manis or dark soy sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

salt, to taste


Combine all the salt ingredients together. Taste for seasoning and balance if necessary.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan or wok.

Add the garlic, noodles (or spaghetti), meat, vegetables and prawns. Stir quickly and add about 100ml of water. Stir constantly until the water has evaporated.

Add the sauce and stir until well-combined. The sauce should cling to the noodles (or spaghetti).

Add the sherry and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions and cooked shallots.

(Source. – Rachel Kelly – The Guardian)


3 thoughts on “Don’t Throw Out That Leftover Pasta!”

  1. Since we don’t measure in grams in the US and some of these recipes call for exotic ingredients not usually found in American kitchens or markets they are useless.

    1. Hi thanks for your comment, I will try to use the US system in the future with more common ingredients.

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