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Pasta-Over-Easy

June 16, 2009
Dinner – sans egg

Besides carbonara – and maybe baked ziti – the thought of putting eggs on pasta is a pretty recent lighting-bolt of awesomeness for me. I’ve got your other proteins down – chicken, sausage, shrimp, bacon, etc. I’m pretty old hand at throwing in veggies and greeny things that I want to use before it ends up in the compost. But eggs. Who knew?

Ok, everybody knew. And most people do it rather spectacularly. But once I found a great *starter* (aka, one I can piggy back off easily and repeatedly) recipe from Ms. Thursday Night Smackdown, I’ve been getting playful.

And I’m not going to go as far as to say I do it particularly well. But on nights where the boy and I both are stuck at class until upwards of 9ish (read: Monday nights), I will say I’m particularly pleased with myself for being able to do anything more on drool on the dog and stare blankly at Weeds until the boy shoo’s me off to bed

Cooking requires a level of manual dexterity that I just didn’t think I had in me at 9:30p on a Monday night.

And – even more unexpectedly – is that not only did I prove able to attend work, class, AND cook something that was absolutely stellar tasting in time for Weeds, but everything in this recipe was local.

Repeating that. 9:00p Monday night dinner. Everything. Was. Local.

I started with what was left of some scary good pasta that I picked up at Superior Pasta Co. down in the Italian Market – why, why do I keep buying pasta anywhere else? And boiled it up al dente.

While that cooked itself, I sauted some bacon that we got from the FFS @ Reading Terminal over the weekend, little bit o’ garlic, little bit o’ shallots, 6 stalks or so of asparagus, a handful of parsley (all from recent CSAs and neighborhood farmers markets). I let that whole mess similar for about 5 minutes, until the bacon and asparagus were cooked through.

At this point it’s 9:08. And we’ve got Weeds in 22 minutes. So this is crunch time ladies & gentlemen.

I actually remembered to save a 1/4 cup of pasta water.

I put the strained pasta into the saute pan with my veggie/bacon mess of goodness, and tossed in a handful of mozzeralla and the pasta water. Due to what I can only assume to be pure Italian magic, the startchy pasta water gets the cheese super melty and turns the whole mess into a sauce so silky that it totally fools you into thinking it contains cream.

While that congealed, I pouched 2 eggs, putting one on top of each little nest ‘o pasta that I fixed into lil bowls.

O. Snap. An ingredient that wasn’t local. White wine vinegar. What’ev. I am obmitting that from my brain and keeping my gold star.

It is 9:20p. Time to spare.

Pasta-Over-Easy
inspired by the ever delicious
Thursday Night Smackdown

1/2 lb of pasta
6 stalks of asparagus
3 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 small shallot, diced
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 pasta water, reserved from cookin’
1/2 cup mozzeralla cheese
2 large eggs

In a large pot, boil water on high heat. Add pasta and cook over a gentelly rolling boil until al dente/to taste. Just before straining, carefully use a measuing cup to get reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Strain pasta and set aside.

While you’re pasta is cooking, put a medium skillet (large enough to hold the pasta you will be cooking) over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until the fat begins to rendered, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down a bit (medium-low) and add the garlic, shallots, and asparagus and saute until the asparagus is cooked through (bright green) but still’s got a good crunch, about 5 minutes.

Add your strained pasta to the saute pan and beging tossing to ensure all the good stuff and bacon-y grease coats the pasta well. Turn heat to low.

Bring small pot of water to boil to poach your egg. If you need some visual instructions on how to perfectly poach an egg, watch this video. At about 40 secs in, he stops being chatty and gets right down to how you poach a good egg. There’s probably other/better ways to do it – this has always worked for me.

While you’re egg is poaching, add your reserved pasta water that you totally remembered to save and your cheese. Toss violently to coat thoroughly. Ah, theraputic pasta.

If you’ve timed yourself right (or have help – like a really hungry husband standing over your shoulder), split your pasta into warm bowls, lift your egg out of the water with a slotted spoon, and place on top of your pasta. You’ll probably need salt, if your mozzeralla isn’t as naturally salty as mine was. Add parsley ontop for just a little extra awesomeness and serve immediately.

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