Spaghetti, pine nut and basil parcels

Photographer: Emma

You may have missed what a huge fan of leftovers I am but just to fill you in – there is something I just adore about yesterday’s food. I also HATE to waste food (it makes me feel sad and guilty) so even if the end result is a disaster I try to resurrect it into something worth eating…if only once.

Like my recent marshmallow incident where the recipe stated to “beat until the mixture has doubled in size”; looking back I was probably 70% of the way there when I lost interest and stopped. They weren’t as light and fluffy as they should have been but instead of throwing the marshmallow out I whipped up a vanilla cake mixture and voila marshmallow cake sandwich! The guys that built our lovely new fence thought they were delicious and even asked if I had any more the next day!

This leads me to the aforementioned recipe of spaghetti parcels using leftover fresh chilli pasta. You may be thinking I’m crazy pairing leftover pasta with bread dough and I can appreciate that. I don’t usually consume more than one type of carbohydrate per meal but this is a special case – it’s even up there with the king of double carbs: the ‘hot chip sandwich’.
I’m not going to claim that my mum invented the spaghetti pizza however she did perfect it and make it her own. Growing up, each Friday night my mum would (and still does) get together with girlfriends for wine and a catch up. Although we were probably old enough to fend for ourselves in her absence, we would get home from school to find her spaghetti pizzas prepared and ready to be heated. The bases would be store bought and the spaghetti canned but hey, we are not going to judge her (because she was a working lady living with two lazy teenagers).

These parcels are a take on a calzone or an empanada; you can successfully encase just about any leftovers in pizza dough – just add cheese and herbs and you’ve got yourself an easy weeknight dinner or tomorrow’s lunch.


BBQ flat bread recipe (omit the rosemary and garlic)

4 cups leftover spaghetti (I used fresh but substituting for 2 x tins is fine)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Large handful fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Olive oil
2 tbsp polenta


1. Make BBQ flat breads but omit the rosemary and garlic.
2. Preheat oven to 200ºC on bake.
3. Once the dough has risen (step 4 in BBQ rosemary flat breads recipe), knead slightly and divide into 12 balls.
4. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball into a circular shape (approximately 2mm thick).
5. Into the centre of each, place a spoonful of pasta then sprinkle with parmesan, basil and toasted pine nuts.
6. Fold in half – into a cresent shape and pinch edges together to completely seal.
7. Place each parcel on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to rest for another 10 – 15 minutes.
8. Brush all parcels with olive oil and bake for 10 – 15 minutes.