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Frittatina di Pasta | Neapolitan Fried Pasta Street Food Recipe

Most people don’t think of pasta as being street food, but in Naples they would disagree! “Frittatine di pasta” are a common sight in the streets of Napoli. They are balls or slices of cheesy pasta which have been battered, breaded and fried to perfection. With a crispy, crunchy shell and a gooey inside, these street food treats are worth trying at least once, even if you never step foot in Naples.

Frittatina di Pasta | Neapolitan Fried Pasta Street Food Recipe

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Frittatina di Pasta here:


Makes: About 8 frittatine

Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 cups besciamella sauce (you can make half of our recipe here)

  • 2 tbsp. (30g) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, dices

  • 3/4 cup (100g) frozen peas

  • Salt

  • Fresh black pepper

  • 10.5 oz. (300g) bucatini

  • 5 oz. (150g) prosciutto cotto or ham, chopped

  • 3.5 oz. (100g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • All-purpose flour

  • Bread crumbs

  • Vegetable oil (or other neutral oil of your choice)

If making your besciamella sauce fresh, allow it to cool down to room temperature in advance. Put a large pot of water on to boil. While it comes up to temp, you can cook the peas.

Place the olive oil and diced onion in a small pan or pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they are tender and slightly translucent, then add the frozen peas and a little bit of warm water—just enough to keep some liquid in the pan. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook the peas for 10-15 minutes. While they cook, continue to add a little bit of warm water as necessary to maintain some simmering moisture in the pan. When finished, let the excess water thicken and set the peas aside for later.

When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it generously. Break the bucatini roughly into thirds, and add into the water. Cook as directed, but for three minutes less than the recommended “al dente” cook time. Drain completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, besciamella, cooked peas, prosciutto, and parmigiano cheese. Mix all together thoroughly, then pour into a deep, flat-sided dish. We used a 8-inch (20cm) round baking dish, but square works and anything of a similar size is fine, provided it’s of a suitable size so that the pasta fills it up to a depth of at least 2 inches (5cm). Flatten the top of the pasta with a spatula and let the pasta cool completely to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, whisk a few spoonfuls of all-purpose flour with water—adjust the ratio as necessary to make a thin batter with a consistency similar to buttermilk. In another bowl, place a few cups of dry bread crumbs.

Cut the cold, hardened pasta into roughly eight equal pieces. If you used a square pan, you can cut it into squares or rectangles. If you used a round pan you can cut it into wedge slices (like a pie). Double batter and bread each piece: first dip them fully in the batter, then coat them completely in bread crumbs, then repeat both steps.

Fill a small pot with about 3 inches (7.5cm) of vegetable oil and bring up to medium/high heat. When you can drop a bread crumb in and it starts to bubble immediately, the oil is hot enough to fry. Carefully drop one frittatina at a time into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally with two forks, until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Serve warm and fresh. Buon appetito!

Want to try another Italian fried pasta variation? Check out how to make "Pasta Chips!" If you liked this street food treat, then you might enjoy Crocchette di Riso!

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Joyce Kane
Joyce Kane
May 06

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Jul 09, 2023

You forgot the piselli! I'm making tonight for sure

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