Clever uses for spaghetti you've never thought of

Spaghetti is a classic Italian pasta shape beloved by children and adults alike. (Half of the recipes on Bon Appetit's list of the 10 Most Popular Pasta and Noodle Recipes of 2018 are made with spaghetti!) If you have somehow gone your entire life without the experience of eating spaghetti or, more likely, just never thought about it, La Cucina Italiana says that it is a thin, round pasta shape traditionally made from durum wheat semolina. It gets its name from the Italian word for "string," which is "spago." They state that it's the most recognized pasta shape worldwide, and its name is almost identical in every language that has a word for it. As we always suspected, a love of carbs is universal.

While hearing "spaghetti" may immediately make you think "meatballs and tomato sauce," which is very much not an Italian dish (via Smithsonian Magazine), or about cacio e pepe, which is very much an Italian dish, there are a ton of different ways to use these long, thin noodles. We searched the internet and found three super cool, incredibly innovative ways to cook with spaghetti.

On a Sandwich

Carbs on Carbs? Count us in! There are a ton of ways to use spaghetti as a sandwich filling. You could go super classic like Taste suggests with the Sketti Sandwich, a throwback to chef Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall Barbecue in North Carolina's working-class upbringing. Moss tenderly describes the meal made from leftover spaghetti with red sauce and ground beef, which he would make for himself while his parents were at work. The recipe is so easy, a child could (and did!) do it. Take two pieces of white bread, slather on some butter, and load it up with cold spaghetti covered in red sauce.

Looking for something a bit fancier? The Food Network takes these "sketti" sandwiches to the next level by pre-portioning out the cold spaghetti and adding a ton of mozzarella cheese to make spaghetti grilled cheese sandwiches. Melanie Makes decides to go in a slightly different direction for their spaghetti filled sandwich with the addition of popcorn shrimp and swaps out the usual sliced bread with a crusty, garlic-laced loaf. Regardless of which style of spaghetti sandwich you decide to make, be warned this is a very messy dish.

Pan fried

Frittatas are a great dish to use up any leftover food that's about to go bad in your fridge, but can also be a fun way to switch up your pasta night. Delish offers up the most straightforward, traditional version of this dish, the fried spaghetti cake, which combines leftover spaghetti, a few eggs, and some mozzarella cheese, fried into a cake and served in slices with marinara sauce on the side for dipping. We love how simple this recipe is, allowing you to riff on it endlessly by adding veggies like kale or tomatoes, swapping the mozzarella for a different cheese, or adding some meat to boost the protein content of the dish.

What To Cook Today shares their version of the pan-fried spaghetti dish, spaghetti fritters, which can be made big or scaled-down into mini rounds. They should have a crunchy exterior and soft interior. The outlet also advises you to add bacon, pork belly, or anchovies to the recipe if you're feeling adventurous.

Stuff it into something else

Stay with us on this one, because it's about to get a little wild, but what if we told you you can stuff spaghetti into other foods? If you're the type of person who likes protein more than pasta, reverse the ratio with this giant spaghetti-stuffed meatball by TastySouthern Discourse gives you the best of both worlds with their spaghetti-stuffed garlic bread. This recipe takes a hollowed-out loaf of Italian bread, fills it with spaghetti in a meaty red sauce, and tops the whole thing with mozzarella cheese to seal it all together into a sliceable loaf.

Why not stuff roast peppers with spaghetti instead of rice? Try Vegetarian Mama's ultra cheesy take on this colorful, vegetable-forward meal, or go for something different with Martha Stewart's roasted peppers with spaghetti stuffing. They opt to fill their spaghetti-stuffed peppers with anchovies, onion, capers, and red wine vinegar instead of the standard pasta sauce and cheese that people might associate with spaghetti for a refreshing, bright twist on the classic.