Giada De Laurenttiis' Go-To Dish To Repurpose Leftover Spaghetti

Sometimes leftover spaghetti from the night before can really hit the spot, but other times it ends up sitting in the fridge until it eventually spoils, and you have no choice but to toss it out. At Giada De Laurentiis' house, however, leftover spaghetti never goes to waste, because she always turns it into spaghetti pizza the next day.

Spaghetti pizza might sound like it would be a discontinued Olive Garden item, but it's actually a traditional Neapolitan recipe. Also called pizza di spaghetti or pasta frittata, this dish consists of leftover spaghetti that's combined with beaten egg and grated parmesan cheese. When fried in a pan, the spaghetti sticks together and crisps up, forming what resembles a pizza. Since the main ingredient is leftover spaghetti, spaghetti pizza doesn't take much effort to make, which explains why it's a go-to for the celebrity chef. It's "a real lifesaver for any busy mom," she shared in an interview with Today.

How Giada De Laurentiis makes spaghetti pizza

Spaghetti pizza traditionally calls for only two extra ingredients — egg and parmesan — but Giada De Laurentiis prefers hers more hearty, adding salami and frozen peas or edamame, then seasoning it with a bit of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. The celebrity chef also makes a version of the dish that includes mozzarella cheese in addition to the parmesan, as well as jarred marinara and fresh basil. "Frozen vegetables, greens, leftover roasted vegetables and beyond all make a great addition," she writes on her website Giadzy, explaining that it's a good recipe to make when you want to clean out the fridge.

While you can get pretty creative with the add-ins, the type of pasta you use should be limited to spaghetti. The recipe can technically be done with other pasta shapes, but long thin noodle works the best. It doesn't matter whether the spaghetti is plain or already covered in sauce — De Laurentiis does it both ways, yielding equally tasty results.

Spaghetti pizza is a tradition in the De Laurentiis family

Coming up with original recipes may be Giada De Laurentiis' forte, but the one for her spaghetti pizza was passed down from her mother, Veronica De Laurentiis. As Veronica revealed in a YouTube short, spaghetti pizza was Giada's favorite dish as a child. She had learned the recipe from her father, Giada's grandfather, Italian filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis. Even though Giada grew up in Rome, her grandfather was originally from Naples, where the traditional dish originates. Giada eventually passed down her love for spaghetti pizza to her own daughter Jade, and according to her recipe on Giadzy, it's now Jade's favorite too. 

"My mother taught me to always be resourceful with leftovers," Giada told Today. "She had a lot of mouths to feed between my siblings and I, so no food went wasted." Clearly, her mother's lesson stuck, because even as a celebrity chef, she's still repurposing leftover spaghetti.

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