Kitchen Guy: Il Scandolo

By Beacon Staff

I had better wear a disguise on my next visit to Italy because it seems that one of my recipe videos has caused a minor uproar and great offense.

Apparently, there are some Italians who think that I’ve committed the ultimate sin, offending their sensibilities, by using rotini instead of spaghetti in my Pasta Frittata.

Some months ago I posted “Pasta Frittata” on my Web site and on YouTube. I also have a list of e-mail subscribers who receive my videos every week. It’s a simple recipe that shows one thing you can do if you have leftover pasta. Within a week of first posting the video, I got a few positive comments and then that was that. I’ve posted 15 or 20 videos since.

I guess someone in Italy did a search for “pasta” or “frittata” on YouTube and came across my piece.

This has become an excellent example of a “viral video,” because the offended parties (there are about 12 of them) have sent my Pasta Frittata video to everyone on their e-mail lists and now I have been inundated with e-mails (all in Italian), and even though I don’t speak the language, I can tell they’re not very kind.

There’s a Web site that offers free translations and I copied and pasted some of the comments and I must confess that the supposed translations into English may as well have been in Hindi or Chinese because I guess the free translator doesn’t understand Italian slang or scatological references.

Some of the translations, though, were kind of amusing. For instance, there was this one: “Your cooking not trying to make moon look like yellow roller skates after kissing.”

As you might guess, I’m passionate about cooking, but I have never been so attached to a dish that I would get into a war of words with some cook 5,000 miles away. Geez. All I wanted to do was show my regular viewers one thing they could do with leftover pasta and sauce.

I didn’t know I would need a special dispensation from the Pope or Prime Minister Berlusconi to use something other than spaghetti. In any case, if you choose to try the recipe at the end of this column, please feel free to use any leftover pasta you have. But if you’re having Italian guests from Italy, make sure you use spaghetti. Otherwise, you might be in for a very unpleasant visit.

First, before you read or try the recipe, judge for yourself. Paste this URL into your browser and let me know if you are offended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFcjLrGHctw.

Kitchen Guy’s Pasta Frittata

(no representation is hereby made that this is genuinely Italian)

8 ounces leftover pasta – your choice
2 cups pasta sauce – also leftover
5 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped (divided use)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat broiler. Toss pasta and 1 cup of pasta sauce in a bowl to blend. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet and add pasta and toss until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Combine eggs with half the parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk to blend and pour over pasta, but do not stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook eggs until they begin to firm up and bottom begins to brown. You may lift the sides occasionally to let any uncooked egg run underneath. This should take about 8 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle frittata with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining sauce over low heat. When the frittata comes out of the oven, use a flexible spatula to loosen the edges and bottom and slide on a plate or cutting board. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, cut into wedges, and serves with warmed sauce.