The pasta omelette: the essence of Easter Monday in Campania

by Gerardo Russo

There pasta omelette is a typical dish of the Campania tradition, linked to Easter period and more generally at trips out of town, so widespread as to have different variations between places even close to each other. This is not surprising. In fact, born as poor dishby recycling the leftover pasta, it has been experimented according to the customs and "yesterday's lunches" by thousands of southern families, so as to develop in the many ways and names we know today.

La frittata di pasta: l'essenza della Pasquetta campana
Pasta omelette. Ph. Felicitasfood.

Omelette, pizza or pastiera

The many evolutions of the dish are already evident from the name. The pasta omelette is in fact called in many different ways, often creating misunderstandings among the same Campania people when they find themselves discussing it.

It is an omelette, as it is essential to use the egg, but there are those who call it macaroni omelette o of spaghetti, depending on the pasta used. In many places in Southern Italy the term macaroni is then used as a synonym for pasta, as well as in some foreign countries. In Arabic, for example, the term makaruna is the exact translation of pasta. The pasta omelette thus easily becomes macaroni omelette, even if made with spaghetti.

In some cases, the dish is associated with the most famous Campania dish in the world: pizza. This is due to its circular and flattened shape, as well as to its being normally eaten in slices and with the hands. This leads to perhaps the most succulent name: macaroni pizza. It is also known as pastiera, not to be confused with the well-known Easter cake. Its street food version, widespread above all in Neapolitan fry shops, is instead known as omelette.

La frittata di pasta: l'essenza della Pasquetta campana
The dish divided into many slices of pizza. Ph. Antonio Medici.

So many recipes to try

The derivations of the dish multiply if you try to draw up an official recipe, which is completely impossible. If its more commercial version, the omelette, has more or less defined a standard of preparation, for the pasta omelette it is necessary to investigate the different domestic traditions of every single Campania family. However, let's try to outline the most common uses.

Generally speaking, it is a single dish, quick to prepare and consume. Spaghetti is generally used, but there are other versions with mixed pasta, depending on what is left over. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, it is poured into a pan together with a mixture formed by eggs and grated cheese, in addition to olive oil. Once everything is well distributed in the pan, there are those who immerse themselves in the amalgam to their taste sausages various (salami or bacon) or any other whim.

The dose of cheese is fundamental to obtain the "glue" effect between the spaghetti, which will create a real pizza. After about ten minutes of cooking over low heat, it is time for the most complicated step: flip the omelette. Usually you help yourself with a dish and at that point the omelette is left to cook for another five minutes. The height and diameter of the pasta omelette will depend on the pan used or the layer of filling added.

La frittata di pasta: l'essenza della Pasquetta campana
Ph. Romantic Dreamer.

From Easter Monday to non-resident students

The dish is a classic of Easter Monday bell, for its consistency and speed of consumption. In fact, it lends itself well to being consumed during a picnic, not requiring plates or cutlery. Also popular as a beach food, it is the ideal lunch during a day at the beach.

The pasta omelette, more recently, is establishing itself as a quick dish for off-site southern students, nostalgic for family traditions, as it is easy to cook, economical and ideal for empty the fridge from eggs and cheese.

La frittata di pasta: l'essenza della Pasquetta campana
Stuffed spaghetti omelette, overlooking Vesuvius. Ph. The messes of Angy and Sara.

A non-standardized tradition

The many names of the pasta omelette and the possible methods of preparation make it a dish in a certain sense escaped the phenomena of globalization. Being called differently between one family and another make it an essentially domestic tradition, difficult to find in a restaurant (if we exclude the omelette, which is an appetizer) and with a non-univocal classification.

It somehow represents the high density of Naples and its surroundings, a territory where thousands of inhabitants live in a few square kilometers and spread different habits even between neighboring municipalities. Just think that in the case of Pagani and Nocera Inferiore, localities that practically constitute a single urban nucleus, the day of Easter Monday also changes.

La frittata di pasta: l'essenza della Pasquetta campana
Ph. Luca Terralavoro.


Become a supporter!

We have decided to remove advertisements from the website to ensure maximum enjoyment of our stories. However, we need financial support to keep our editorial activities alive: join the supporters of our platform, for you many advantages and preview videos!

Leave a comment

error: NOTICE: You can't copy the content!