Around the first half of the 19th century, during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Lent days were called giorni di scammaro and people had to eat quite frugally, avoiding meat and rich foods. It is in this period that a peculiar frittata, the frittata scammaro was created, mixing together pasta with olives, sultanas, pine nuts and anchovies.
The tradition continued during times of economic difficulty, when wallets were empty and nothing would go to waste. And this is how, in Naples, a delicacy –which was to become a traditional local dish – was born out of a plate of leftover maccheroni.
Throwing away pasta, what a sacrilege! Especially when it can be used to make up a delicious meal for the following day. In spite of its name, Naples’ frittata di pasta is usually made with spaghetti, vermicelli or bucatini, that is, with pasta lunga, so that the final results is dense, soft inside and crunchy outside.
There are two classical versions of this dish, a bianca variety and a rossa variety: in both cases, pasta must rest overnight, then mixed with egg, a tiny bit of cheese, fried and eaten rigorously cold.