Leftover Makeover Edition - Panko Fried Pasta - AKA The Pasta Burger
By taylormademarket on September 13, 2013
As a chef, I LOVE fresh ingredients. I'd rather hit the farmers market over the mall any day. But as a mom, I love using leftovers... In this post, I'm going to show you how easy it is to take last nights leftovers and turn them into a whole new meal...
Kids are hungry. I have nothing "planned" for dinner and needed to whip up something fast. I had leftover ziti pasta and marinara sauce from the night before but I knew they wouldn't go for that meal again. I tried, I did..
Kids: Mom, whats for dinner?
Me: hmm, how about pasta from last night?
Kids: We're not in the mood for that.
What can I say? My family is spoiled. I can't blame them, I personally am not a fan of leftover pasta. The textures change.. But I had a LOT of pasta leftover and I didn't want it to go to waste. I love getting good deals and making something out of nothing.
So here goes...
Let me tell you a secret. I kind of play my own version of Food Network's "Chopped" in my head. Except Ted Allen is not giving me a basket of ingredients like frog legs, cheese & twizzlers. I get to pick my own mystery basket ingredients. This round it is "leftover pasta" Which by the way, would be a great future mystery basket ingredients in Chopped - Have you seen Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown? You can bid for your competitor to use some of the less fresh ingredients, take away their utensils or cook with a microwave. Worst part, when they are judged.. The critic can only taste the food - No explanation of anything.. Just a straight up food tasting.. Cruel, just cruel. I would NEVER compete on that show. My anxiety levels go through the roof for these contestants, I almost need a xanaz to watch it. On one episode, They had to make a lobster sandwich and with 30 minutes left they bid on who has to make their bread from scratch. Bread in 30 min? Not happening. The contestant made a quick flatbread.. Genuis.. However the judge says "I just don't understand why you chose flatbread instead of a roll" I know the guy was wanting to scream "because I couldn't, My competitor took my rolls away and I had 30 min to make bread."
So I play chopped at home and I used to do the same thing in the restaurant. Customers would say, What's on the menu for tomorrow? I never knew until the next morning when I walked in to the market, looked at all the gorgeous produce and got inspired. Now in my kitchen, I don't have this market full of produce for inspiration. I have leftover pasta,Hungry kids and time ticking away. So I look in the fridge. OK, I have eggs, ricotta cheese & some mozzarella. Fresh basil in the backyard and Viola it comes to me.. I can mix all these things up, coat them in panko and have a pasta burger.
You will either think this post is genius or insane. I say Genius.. Every single one was devoured with NO leftovers. It was a much better meal than the plain ziti pasta we had the night before.
To my leftover pasta, I added 1 cup ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 1 cup of mozzarella and a handful of fresh basil.. Mixed it all together. Used a cookie scoop to make semi-uniform shaped patties. Patted them out like a burger and coated in panko..
P.S. If you haven't noticed.. I LOVE panko..
Lightly coat the skillet with olive oil and fry until brown on both sides. 3-4 min
You end up with this crunchy crispy goodness on the outside with a creamy melt in your mouth goodness in the middle.
You could really makes these look Elegant by drizzling some marinara sauce on a plate - Eat these on a burger , yes a super high carb meal, but who doesn't love a spaghetti sandwich. That was not a joke. I was serious.
I named this the pasta "burger" because I really don't like to use the word Patty. It reminds me to much of SpongeBob and with 6 kids, I have made more "crabby Patties" than I would like to admit. It's kind of like the word "Casserole" - I really don't like that word since my mother was the casserole queen with chicken surprise every night. I prefer to call them "Bakes" Much sexier than casserole.. Don't you think?
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