South Indian Inspired Spaghetti Frittata

Nik Sharma

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South Indian Inspired Spaghetti Frittata

Spaghetti frittatas and other types of pasta frittatas are a joy to make because they’re a splendid way to clean out the pantry and refrigerator. Frittatas, by nature, are a blank slate; you can tweak them as needed to suit your whims. This time, I’ve drawn inspiration from South Indian cooking and used curry leaves, mustard seeds, and other spices and cooked them together with the spaghetti.

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The Cook’s Notes

  • This is a dish made with leftover cooked spaghetti. You could use that or make fresh spaghetti. If you use leftover spaghetti that was refrigerated, make sure the pasta is separated and not sticking to each other by gently separating them. If you make fresh pasta, it must be cooled to room temperature, or the eggs will start to cook.

  • For the cooking dish, I’ve used a cast-iron dish that can move directly from the stove to the oven to reduce the number of dishes for me to clean. A stainless-steel pan that is oven-safe also works great here.

  • I like to serve this frittata with the; for a savory option, try either the garlic or tomato achaars from Brooklyn Delhi.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

½ lb/230 g spaghetti

Unsalted butter

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp black or brown mustard seeds

15 to 20 fresh curry leaves

4 garlic cloves, grated

1 Tbsp minced, green chilli such as jalapeno or serrano

1 shallot, minced

½ pint/120 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Fine sea salt

6 large eggs, lightly whisked

½ cup/15 g grated parmesan

Ground black pepper

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Sweet mango achaar for serving (optional/See The Cook’s Notes)

Prepare the spaghetti according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook until al dente, drain, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of butter or olive oil, toss to coat well, and leave aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter or olive oil in an 11 or 12 in/28 cm to 30.5 cm cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Sauté until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the garlic, green chilli, and shallot, and sauté until the shallot turns soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and ½ tsp salt, reduce the heat to low, and sauté until the tomatoes turn soft and almost fall apart, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the pasta in the bowl. Hold on to the skillet.

Reserve 1 Tbsp of the parmesan and add the rest of the parmesan to the pasta in the bowl; fold to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the spaghetti and fold to coat well. The spaghetti mixture must be cool before it meets the eggs, or the eggs will curdle early and the frittata will get drier and crumblier texture.

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter or olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Swirl the skillet to coat well. Pour the spaghetti and egg mixture into the pan. Make sure the spaghetti egg mixture covers the pan completely. Sprinkle the remaining reserved 1 Tbsp of parmesan over the top and cook over medium heat until the sides begin to set and turn firm, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to the oven; cook until the top turns light brown, and the center is set; it should not be runny, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. When ready to serve, garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve hot or warm with the achaar.

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