01 March 2011

In which an "oops" turns into "pie"

I’ve seen recipes like this one before, and I always had a private little snicker.  Who ever has so much cooked spaghetti or capellini lying around?  What home cook, experienced in feeding their families, would ever end up with so much leftover pasta?  Well, I found myself among the ranks of the guilty, though not entirely by my own fault.  You see, I was following a recipe that I realized—only too late—had not been properly edited.  But that’s another story.

Anyway, there I was with about a quart of angel hair pasta that had been tossed with a light dressing of simple tomato sauce.  And as many of you know, capellini sure sticks together well—it clumps up right away if you don’t dress it properly, causing serving woes, frustrated diners, etc.  But in the recipe I want to share with you here today, that clumping tendency is leveraged to good advantage, keeping the pasta together to form a nice griddle pie.


Golden and crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and studded throughout with yummy chunks of black olive--this is a great pie, served in big wedges with a green salad as a simple lunch or supper or even as a part of a brunch!  Another fun idea would be to top with your favorite pizza toppings and finish it off under the broiler for a pasta-pizza-pie.  Let your imagination run!

So for a great, straightforward use of leftover angel hair pasta, look no further than this capellini olive pie.

Capellini Olive Pie
Serves 2-4

4 cups cooked capellini lightly coated with tomato sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sliced black olives
Sea salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
1-2 tsp. vegetable oil
Parmesan cheese and extra tomato sauce, for serving (optional)

In a large bowl toss together the capellini, eggs, and olives until well combined, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Place a large (12 to 14-inch diameter) non-stick skillet over high heat.  When skillet is hot, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and tilt pan to coat evenly (oil will not cover the entire surface, but we only need a little oil here).

Pour the capellini mixture into the skillet and use a spatula to press it down into an even and compact pancake that fills the skillet.

Cook until golden brown and crispy underneath, then slide onto a plate.  Add a little more oil to pan, if desired, then flip pancake back into the pan and continue to cook until the second side is also golden brown and crispy.

Slide pancake onto a large cutting board and slice into four wedges with a pizza cutter.  Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and warm tomato sauce, if desired.


the Junkie book said...

wow! such a beautifully written recipe prologue...you do have a nice way of guiding us into the recipe.
lovely, lovely!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting happenstance... I always look at the pasta pie recipes and think 'ew' but yours look really yummy. I tend to avoid using angel hair, my least favorite pasta by far, but I may have to go out and buy a box just to try this out!

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