Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spaghetti Fritters with Arugula and Walnut Pesto | Friday Night Bites

I adore Oprah.  She is someone who is insightful, inspirational, a thought leader, motivator and role model.  Her positive influence has reached all ends of the earth.  With the ending of her daily talk show and the emergence of her OWN network, her positive impact continues to inspire people.  I love learning and growing.  Oprah’s Master Class series along with Life Lessons are among my favorite shows on her network. 

Over the weekend, I sat down to watch the Master Class episode with Cindy Crawford and it was such an authentic view into her life experiences, thoughts and lessons she has learned.  I identified with many of her insights especially about marriage and to root your love in friendship.  My hubby is truly my best friend. 

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Her comment to be present each day resonated with me.  When I was nineteen years old, I was hit head on by a drunk driver and needless to say, I almost literally died that night due to some complications along with breaking both femurs.  That life changing experience provided a different lens for me to look through. Each day is a gift.  Think positively. Make a difference. Find your passion. Be confident. Give. Cherish your significant other, friends and family. Appreciate yourself. Live each day to the fullest!

It was inspiring to watch Cindy’s journey to really being comfortable in her own skin.  I identified with her completely.  As each year passes, I am more and more comfortable in my own skin and that is when life gets even better.  Writing this blog has been an evolution for me and positive in so many ways.  I found a passion and executed on it.  Who knows where it will take me, but that is half the fun of the journey. What is your passion?  Are you making it happen?  If not, go for it!  You have nothing to lose and all to gain.  Take chances and risks.  It sounds cliche, but life does go by quickly and you can't repeat it, so live it to the fullest.

If you have been a reader or follower of my blog, you know that I have a passion for appetizers.  Thus the evolution of my Friday Night Bite series was created.  This week I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Spaghetti Fritters.  They are tasty on their own, but with a dab of handmade Arugula and Walnut Pesto, it is simply elevated to the next level.  It is a simple appetizer that would pair perfectly with a great Italian red wine.  Manja! Manja!

Spaghetti Fritters

3 oz. Spaghetti, broken in half
1 egg
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
5 Scallions, trimmed and minced, white and green
1 ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Red Chili Flakes
1/3 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese + additional for sprinkling
Zest of half lemon
8 to 10 Grinds Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
Oil for pan frying

Boil the pasta in salted water for about 8 to 10 minutes.  While the pasta is boiling, crack the egg into a large bowl and whisk.  Add the garlic, scallions, oregano, chili flakes, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Drain the pasta well and add to the mixture.  Stir well to ensure all pasta is coated well.  Pour two tablespoons of oil in a skillet and heat it on medium.  Use a fork or your fingers to place about a couple tablespoons of the pasta onto the pan.  Slightly swirl the pasta to form a flat circle.  Fry it on medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side.  Once done cooking, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve hot.

Arugula and Walnut Pesto

4 Cups Arugula leave, packed
1 Cup Shelled walnuts, lightly toasted
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 Garlic cloves, peeled and rough chop
1 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper to taste

Over medium heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and lightly sauté the garlic cloves for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a food processor, combine the Arugula, walnuts, sautéed garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.


  1. Spaghetti fritter? Genius! Love this idea :)

  2. First off, Lisa, your story touched me! I'm sorry you had to go through that, but definitely, you are the strong, confident, loving woman you are now because of that! I give you much respect for what you have been through. You are truly blessed!

    Now on to another thing...these fritters are so brilliant!!! My daughter is having a birthday party in two weeks and this seems like a very good idea! I will try these! Who doesn't like fritters?!

  3. These fritters look delicious! They remind me of another convenient spaghetti fritter recipe. There the spaghetti are baked on a baking tray and than cut out with a glas of the proper size, (eg. Berliner Weisse glas). Got to try yours, too...

  4. Is it time for an appetizer yet? These look incredible and I love the pesto!

    Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa. Such a great reminder to live each day with intention!

  5. Very inspiring post, Lisa! I'm sorry to hear about your horrible car accident - what an ordeal - but also a perfect reminder to live life to the fullest.

    These fritters look like an ideal weekend treat!

  6. Though you've personally shared your story with me before it still gives me chills reading about it here. I love your attitude about appreciating each day--you exude positive energy, always. :)

    What a great appetizer for Friday night. I've got a bunch of basil that I was planning on turning into pesto--need to try your arugula/walnut version soon. :)

  7. What a gourmet Friday night bite appetizer, Lisa! Although they are always amazing, I can see an evolution, as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. Your story is so inspirational Lisa! I can see the strong confident person you are today- both through your blog and from meeting you in person ;-)
    My mouth is just watering for a bite of this appetizer delicacy ....just an amazing bite for this Friday night ;-)

  9. Your story touched my heart Lisa. Thanks for sharing it with us. You're a strong woman and you'll definitely succeed in everything you put your mind into.
    These appetizers are the perfect treat to this coming weekend.

  10. How creative Lisa, I just saw on the tv show Chopped someone make a brittle with the noodles they were given, I love that show but can't even comprehend how they come up with those things at the last minute. So glad you shared you story of life lessons and how your accident helped you appreciate being here each day. Happy Weekend :)

  11. Lisa, these look so delicious! I have made something similar much like a "spaghetti pie" but have never thought to make smaller versions to serve as appetizers. I bet they are heaven served with the pesto!

    Your words about taking risks and acting upon one's passions could not ring more true. Thank you for sharing!


  12. Thanks for sharing your story with us! It was a great reminder that every day is a gift and we shouldn't take anything for granted.

    And spaghetti fritters?! What. This is totally new to me. But I'm liking it!

  13. It sounds like you had an amazing session. Your story is inspiring and so is this post. I appreciate you taking the time to remind us to not take things for granted. LOVE these fritters!!

  14. YUM these sound delicious!! I have to try these.


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