Whenever I manage to create a beautiful dish out of leftovers, I think about my grandmothers. Strong, hard working, stubborn and resourceful women (I got those genes), they could cook something great out of anything. (I got those genes too!) Back in the old days there was no such thing as throwing food away.
I think my cooking style is a bit old-fashioned in that way. As much as I enjoy a gourmet this or that, mid to high-end restaurants, and following top chefs’ cookbooks and magazines, my way of cooking is a “no-nonsense cooking”. The most important thing above all is, of course, having a family meal at the end of the day with my husband and my kids.
I felt very proud of myself with the results of this pasta & leftovers dish. Orecchiette is my favorite shape of pasta because it has a fun and funny shape and a chewy texture. It is like having plenty of little cups on your plate, each one has a bit of the filling and sauce in it. It works so well with a mish-mash or mix and match kind of dish just like this one.
I had so many different leftovers from previuos dinners and I didn’t feel like reheating any of them and eating them again–it’s boring. I added some crème fraiche–which I hesitated about, not being sure if it will match with all the different flavors–but it worked like magic, binding and bringing everything together. So this is how it went:
1/2 onion, small chopped
1/3 roasted whole chicken, pulled/cut to large bite-size pieces
3 breakfast sausages, diced
3-4 cups roasted vegetables (potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, rutabagas), diced if not already
Blanched kale and chard, chopped
½ cup crème fraiche left from this lovely onion tart (substitute with heavy cream. Sour cream might work as well)
1/3 cup grated cheese
1 clove garlic
½ box of orecchiette or any kind of short pasta
Bring water and salt to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
Meanwhile, in a big big skillet sauté onion in olive oil until it softens. Add the garlic clove. Move to the side of the skillet and add the leftovers. Warm it all up good.
When pasta is ready, drain and add to the leftovers, add salt, ground black pepper, and crème fraiche. Mix and toss it all together. Serve with grated cheese.
Makes 6 servings
Tell me about your winner leftover & pasta recipes and I will post them here. E mail me at nurit AT familyfriendlyfood DOT com, or in a comment below.
More leftovers, please:
Leftover bread turned into Bread pudding with spiced rum sauce for dessert
Mashed Potatoes with Cheesy Crunchy Topping
Mashed potatoes turned into Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes
Black Forest Chocolate Roulade, using Leftovers Egg whites