Sicilian Spaghetti Cake

Here’s a way to sneak up on your next pasta binge from a different angle. Cooking the pasta for a second time in the oven gives you a bit of textural contrast from the lovely crisp edge bits, the soft inside stuffed with your weapons of choice. I’ve heard this recipe touted as a ‘good use for leftover pasta’ but really, who ever has 500g of leftover pasta? Perhaps an army chef.

What it is good for though, is using up the odds and sods in the fridge. I slung in some softened onions and garlic, black olives, jarred artichoke hearts, grilled bacon, most of a tub of ricotta and the juice and zest of two lemons. A waif end of cheese and stray stalk of parsley went on top. The secret to a good spaghetti cake is to keep it well oiled; they have a tendency to come out dry otherwise. As an alternative, try using a double cream and egg yolk mix stirred through the pasta  – the end result will be denser and richer.

So there we have it, a way to make pasta even more unhealthy than it was before; where there’s a will there’s a way.

Sicilian Spaghetti Cake

500g spaghetti
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
150g jarred artichoke hearts in oil (reserve the oil), chopped roughly
150g black olives, pitted and chopped roughly
250g ricotta cheese
A generous handful of parsley
The juice and zest of two lemons
6 rashers of bacon
Olive oil and plenty of it
A splash of white wine if you have it

Preheat your oven to 180C

Begin by cooking your spaghetti until almost al dente. While this is happening, grill the bacon until crisp then chop roughly and set aside.

Soften the onion and garlic gently in a little olive oil (then add the splash of wine if you have it allowing a minute or two to cook out), then add the artichoke hearts, olives and bacon to warm everything through. When your pasta is ready, stir through the oil from the jar of artichokes plus your artichoke mixture, the lemon juice and zest and a really generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir through the ricotta and most of the parsley. The mix will probably need another generous slug of oil at this point. Don’t be shy – that’s a lot of spaghetti.

Brush an oven proof skillet or similarly shaped pan with a little more oil or butter and pour in your spaghetti, flattening it down to a cake shape. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden and crispy at the edges. Garnish with more parsley. Slice and serve warm, with salad for a bit of psychological self trickery.

Category: Cakes, Main Dishes, Pasta | Tags: , , , , , , 25 comments »

25 Responses to “Sicilian Spaghetti Cake”

  1. aforkfulofspaghetti

    I love this – it’s like a deluxe, slightly more formalised version of one of my regular faves, fritelle di spaghetti.

    Like you say, though, I always have to cook some spaghetti specially first – there’s no such thing as ‘leftover’ spaghetti in this household, ever!

  2. ScottCanCook

    OMG… there is a real Sicilian Spaghetti Cake. I had something similar as a kid growing up and it was called spaghetti pie.

  3. Helen

    aforkfulofspaghetti – Spaghetti fritters rock my world.

    ScottCanCook – It’s a real recipe! Spaghetti pie is definitely a better name for it though.

  4. Sophie

    Looks absolutely delicious (though perhaps not calorie free?)
    I bet it would still be good cold in your packed lunch.

    People keep telling me to give our leftover spaghetti to our chickens but I can see there will be competition now

  5. Basil

    Looks great!

  6. Anh

    I like this recipe! Seems perfect for a picnic!

  7. Helen

    Sophie – Well,there might be a few calories in it…chickens? spaghetti? Well I never.

    Basil – Thanks!

    Anh – Oh definitely. It’s really good cold. I ate it for breakfast the next day.

  8. Kalynskitchen

    I love this idea, sounds like a wonderful way to use leftovers.

  9. Kerri

    I’ve wanted to try making this for a while but have been unsure about the texture of it. Your description of crispy edges is pushing it further up my “to cook” list though. It looks great.

  10. shayma

    mmm i would definitely like to make a spaghetti cake, especially if you say it’s better with double cream and egg yolk mix stirred through it. i used to make a lot of frittate with my leftover pasta, (learnt it from friends in Rome). btw, you dont really need a dining table, Helen, i love the photos you take on this table on your terrace (?)! x shayma

  11. msmarmitelover

    Gorgeous! Must try.

  12. Martin

    “a way to make pasta even more unhealthy than it was before; where there’s a will there’s a way.”

    Finally a cause I can get on board with. I’m going to try this tomorrow. Om nom nom.

  13. Greedy Diva

    This is one recipe that, unfortunately, I may never have the chance to make. We never have left over pasta. I’m too embarrassed to admit how much we cook for one sitting.

  14. Helen

    Kalyn – Thanks! Although, why is everyone thinking I had leftovers?!

    Kerri – Yeah it’s unusual but in a good way.

    MsMarmiteLover – Addictive! The kind of thing you where are rushing back into the kitchen to get another fix.

    Martin – Oh yes.

    Greedy Diva – Well er, I didn’t either. That’s what I was saying with the whole, “who has 500g of pasta leftover?” thing…

  15. ginandcrumpets

    Although we never have leftover cooked spaghetti, we do have the giant pasta tub in the corner of our kitchen. Every time anyone fancies pasta for dinner, they buy a packet of their favourite pasta. We like different pasta shapes, so there’s about 3 kilos of assorted pasta in the tub at any one time. Perhaps I could starting combining them for a Mishapes Pasta Pie?

  16. Jonathan

    Bonkers. But I like it. Might have to cook it in my tiny, very basic kitchen.

  17. Johanna GGG

    looks delicious – I am always looking for spaghetti inspiration – wonder how a bit of roast pumpkin would go in it – mmmmm

  18. Lizzie

    Brilliant! I have a deep love of pasta (especially spaghetti) so this is definitely getting tried.

  19. Ailsa

    I’ve never done this with spaghetti, but I have made crispy noodle cakes – similar thing, but fried in a pan. This looks great, I love crispy baked edges.

  20. bellini valli

    I have tried a more simplified version of this Helen. It is an excellent way to use any leftover pasta, sauce and all.

  21. An American in London

    Learning to make a frittata at a cooking class in Florence was revelatory, and since that moment, Jon and I have often thrown leftover pasta of any shape, size and sauce into beaten eggs and then baked it into a frittata. It’s a staple in our home, and you’re right the key is oil. : ) I like the looks of your spaghetti cake because you were more sparing with the eggs than we normally are, so I’ll have to give this variation a try.

  22. gastrogeek

    Double cream and eggs, like music to my ears….and good point about the army chefs(!) I wonder if you could deep fry it…..?

  23. Ollie

    Cool idea. I used to do a version with noodles, soy, chicken, coriander etc years ago, which was lovely too.

  24. Helen

    ginandcrumpets – please, PLEASE make a misfits pasta pie.

    Jonathan – Yes! I look forward to your posts about your new tiny kitchen!

    Johanna – only one way to find out…

    Lizzie – Oh I know. We are equal in our love of pasta I think. I am suspicious of anyone who isn’t, quite frankly.

    Ailsa – They are next on my list. A wonderful idea.

    Bellini Valli – You are one of those people who has leftover pasta?! Are you an army chef?

    An American in London – It’s a wonderful way to eat our carby friend isn’t it? I am in love with it.

    Gastrogeek – Oh I do love that suggestion. Deep fry it. You crazy kid.

    Ollie – Sounds yum! It’s variations ahoy with a recipe like this.

  25. Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day! never head of a spaghetti cake until today, true!
    Then when I saw YOUR recipe and photo, I knew this is a recipe to put on my list too!
    Cheers! Joanne

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