Viewer recipe makeover: Fried pasta

Fried pasta
Submitted by: View from the Bay viewer Sarah Ambrosek from San Francisco

During the early months of dating my Husband, he introduced me to 'Fried Cheese Pasta.' It tasted good but was missing lots of flavor.

He would make this dish about once every three weeks and every time I knew there was missing something. This led me to start testing new flavors and ingredients pronto! He was so proud of the dish and I was so proud he cooked!

Over the years, I have taken over his 'Fried Cheese Pasta' and have brought new life to this dish and perhaps, "perfected it"!

Here is my Husband's Recipe:


  • 1 pkg spiral pasta
  • 1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce (your choice)
  • 6-8 oz of cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Boil pasta (al dente). Drain pasta and set back into pot.

  2. Turn cooked pasta on medium to high heat and add 6-8 oz of grated cheese, stirring constantly.

  3. Let the cheese get a nice chewy, and crisp texture.

  4. Once cheese pasta has a crisp and chewy texture, add Spaghetti Sauce.

  5. Stir into cheese pasta mix and enjoy.
Caution: Contents are hot!

Sarah's recipe:

  • 1 pkg spiral pasta (wheat)
  • 1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce (your choice, I like Trader Joe's Vodka Sauce)
  • 6-8 oz of cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 Bell Peppers (fire roasted chopped)
  • Dried Herbs (mixture ie; thyme, basil)
  • Seasonings (Red Pepper flakes, Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Boil Pasta (al dente). Drain pasta and set back into pot. While pasta is boiling, cook ground turkey thoroughly adding onion, garlic, dried herbs, seasonings. Drain meat mixture.

  2. Turn pasta on medium to high heat and add 6-8 oz of grated cheddar cheese, stirring constantly. Let the cheese get a nice chewy and crisp texture. Once cheese pasta has a crisp and chewy texture, add meat mixture.

  3. Stir thoroughly. Add Spaghetti Sauce and fire roasted peppers, stir into pasta mix and enjoy. Garnish with drops of Sriracha Sauce for extra heat. Caution: Contents are hot!


Gratin de Pâte aux Morilles (Pasta & Morels Gratin)
By Chef Mattin Noblia from Iluna Basque
Serves 6 persons

  • 1 Pound Rigatoni Pasta
  • ½ Pound Fresh Wild Morels (when in Season)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 oz Butter
  • 2 oz Flour
  • 18 fl oz Milk
  • 3 oz Gruyère Cheese
  • 3 oz Dry Pancetta
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp black truffle flavored olive oil
  • White pepper, salt, nutmeg to taste
  1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add salt to taste. Add the rigatoni, stir gently. For "al dente" pasta boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain well.

  2. Cut the morels in quarters, remove impurity, rinse under cold water quickly. In a medium heat sautéed pan add the 2tsp of black truffle oil, and then stir in the Pancetta in small dice give it some caramelized color while stirring.

  3. Add the morels, chopped finely garlic and 2tsp of butter, keep cooking for 3 more minutes while stirring then set aside.

  4. "Béchamel" Bring the milk to a boil. Melt the butter add the flower together to make a "Roux" stir this mixture in the warm milk, with a whisk bring the milk back to a boil. It will start to thicken, stop the fire when you see big volcano bubbles happening, add the salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Grind some Gruyère cheese inside but keep some for the top later.

  5. In a big bowl stir the pasta, mushroom mixture and béchamel, then mix well all the ingredients together, then pour it in an oven proof rectangular dish grind the rest of the Gruyère on top, then put it under a broiler for 6 min until the top gets a nice sizzling golden color.

About Mattin Noblia:

Mattin Noblia, a 29-year-old native of the Basque country located in southwestern France and Northwestern Spain, has been enamored of cooking since the age of five.

When entranced by the aromas, flavor and color of dishes prepared for his family by his architect father, he began to dream of becoming a chef.

At 14, the youngest possible age, Mattin set out to make his dream a reality by entering a three-year culinary training program, which culminated with an apprenticeship under the noted chef Dominique Jolie (a protégé of 4-Michelin-star chef Joel Robuchon.)

After completing the apprenticeship and receiving a Chef de cuisine diploma, Mattin enhanced his skills through stints at restaurants in France and Switzerland.

In 2002, Mattin came to San Francisco to become a great chef. A year later, at 23 years old, Mattin opened his own tapas restaurant in North Beach called Iluna Basque.

Mattin's cooking has long been guided by his unique feel for the way diverse ingredients can be assembled to form a savory dish. His food is presented in a manner, which is modern, yet cozy, comfortable and filled with life.

Iluna Basque
701 Union street (at Powell)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 402-0011

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