Consider Waffling Your Leftover Spaghetti

Consider Waffling Your Leftover Spaghetti
Contributor: Claire Lower

Leftover spaghetti stands with the best of leftovers. In the fridge overnight, the flavours of the sauce meld and soak into the noodles, permeating them. An ex-boyfriend of mine loves leftover spaghetti so much, he eats it cold, straight from the refrigerator, and this is fine. I don’t know that there’s a bad way to eat leftover spaghetti, in fact — but waffled leftover spaghetti is one of the best.

It is, however, not the easiest thing to waffle. Unlike SPAM, Honeybuns or even wedges of brie, waffling spaghetti isn’t a press-and-go kind of deal. Spaghetti is a bit more fragile, a bit more prone to burning, a bit more “covered in cheese.”

The cheese is actually very important to the waffling process. As with these parm-crusted mashed potato babies, the cheese forms a crust around the tender noodles, holding them together to create a cohesive waffle. It also tastes very good. I prefer cheddar to parm in this instance, as parm burns before the noodles are fully set. Cheddar cheese burns less quickly than the noodles (and parm), but it will still burn, so you may have to baby this waffle a little more than you’re used to.

A little burning is good, actually (Photo: Claire Lower)
A little burning is good, actually (Photo: Claire Lower)

For the best leftover spaghetti waffle, avoid large chunks of watery tomato, as those give off a lot of moisture while heating, creating a loose, burnt final product. Lightly sauced noodles with bits of meat are ideal, though any large pieces of sausage or beef should be broken into smaller pieces for even cooking. To make leftover spaghetti waffles, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of cold leftover spaghetti, large chunks of tomato removed
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, divided into two portions
  • Basil or parmesan for serving

Heat your waffle maker on medium-low. While it’s heating, place your leftover spaghetti and the two portions of cheese into three separate ramekins. Once the waffle maker is heated, quickly add the first portion of cheese, then the spaghetti, then the second layer of cheese, and close the waffle maker. Cook until everything holds together in one waffle-shaped mass and the cheese is browned (check on if every 30 seconds or so). The spaghetti waffle will be very soft at first, so gently pry it from the iron and coax it onto a spatula, then slide it onto a plate. Sprinkle fresh basil and parmesan on top and devour.

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