Giada De Laurentiis Reveals How to ‘Get Creative’ with Pasta Leftovers

If you’re looking to transform leftover cooked pasta into a delicious new dish, Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis has more than a few great ideas to breathe new life into that extra bowl of spaghetti.

Giada De Laurentiis wears a black blouse in this photograph.
Giada De Laurentiis | Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

De Laurentiis says leftover pasta is a great springboard to other meals

In her cookbook Everyday Pasta, the culinary personality shares some of her secrets for turning pasta left over from another meal into an irresistible new dish.

“Many times you don’t need an entire pound of pasta to serve your family or guests, but who wants to be left with half-filled boxes of pasta in their pantry?,” she asks. “Next time, cook the whole package, use what you need for the meal and get creative with the leftovers.”

From eggs to salads to soups, the Simply Giada star proves that, with a little imagination, there’s no end to what can be done with extra noodles, and suggests ideas including:

-Stirring cooked pasta into beaten, seasoned eggs to make a hearty frittata

-Making a “garnish for soups or salad” by deep frying angel hair pasta

-Tossing the cooked pasta with a vinaigrette and salad greens

-Mixing pasta in with soups “to make them more substantial and satisfying”

-Sauteeing the pasta with garlic and butter or oil and you’ve got an aromatic and delicious “side dish for grilled meats or fish.”

The chef’s pasta pizza

As the Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef wrote on her lifestyle and food blog Giadzy of her humble yet filling dish, “This recipe was a staple in my childhood, and one my mom always turned to with leftover spaghetti. It’s now a staple of my own for Jade, and a perfect dish to make when you have random odds and ends in the fridge: frozen vegetables, greens, leftover roasted vegetables, and beyond all make a great addition.”

The leftover cooked spaghetti is combined with eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, diced salami or ham, cooked edamame, peas, or broccoli, olive oil, and crushed red pepper. Once it’s well mixed, the mixture is placed into a skillet and flattened out. De Laurentiis recommends allowing it to cook for about five minutes or until it’s browned on the bottom and releases easily.

She slides the pasta pizza carefully onto a platter and returns the uncooked side back into the hot skillet until it’s done.

Get the complete recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site

Reviewers loved De Laurentiis’ clever use of leftover spaghetti

The chef’s spaghetti pie was a hit with her own family and with many home cooks, as Food Network reviewers noted.

“Left over spaghetti never tasted soooo good!! Simple easy to make and tastes great,” one person wrote.

Another home cook added, “This was an awesome way to use up leftover spaghetti. It is really important to leave it in the pan for the time stated. Turning it too soon does not work!”

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