Please welcome my friend and cookbook author Sally Vargas as she shares some of her favorite recipes with us, starting with this great spaghetti with bacon, tomatoes, and eggs!~Elise
Eggs for supper are not only quick and easy to make, they are somehow reassuring that all is right with the world. Add pasta and you have a supreme comfort meal.
Oh, and then there is the bacon. If you’re part of the ‘everything goes better with bacon’ club, you won’t be able to resist this dish.
Here are a few tricks that make poaching eggs stress-free.
One, salt the water generously: the salt makes the eggs buoyant. About 10 seconds after you’ve dropped the eggs into the simmering water, drag a wooden spoon around the edge of the pot. It creates a gentle whirlpool and the eggs float freely instead of sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Two, add two tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. The vinegar helps the protein in the egg whites coagulate quickly. You’ll still have wispy bits, but not as many as without it. And the vinegar taste dissipates.
Three: start with fresh eggs. As eggs age, the egg whites weaken and become less firm. Fresh eggs hold their shape better.
You could make this dish any time of year and swap out the basil for another herb, but during the summer months, carpe diem. Don’t pass up a single opportunity to use fresh basil and tomatoes.
You can use diced globe tomatoes, diced plum tomatoes, or smaller cherry tomatoes. Just make sure they’re juicy and sweet.
Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Bacon, and Eggs Recipe
While the water for the pasta and the eggs heats up, cook the bacon, garlic, and tomatoes. Then poach the eggs while the pasta is cooking. It all comes together in about 20 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar, for poaching the eggs
- 12 ounces (3/4 box) spaghetti
- 6 slices (about 5 ounces) thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 7 to 8 (12 ounces) small (1 1/2-inch) tomatoes, quartered
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, torn into pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Olive oil, for garnish
1 Bring two pans of water to a boil: For the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (at least 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt). For the eggs, fill a wide saucepan with 2 inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Add the vinegar to the saucepan for the eggs.
2 Cook the bacon, garlic, and tomatoes while the water heats: In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned. Transfer to plate.
Add the garlic and the tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or just until the garlic turns pale golden and the tomatoes soften slightly. Remove the pan from the heat.
3 Cook the spaghetti: Add the spaghetti to the large pot of boiling water, and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, or until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the pasta water with a measuring cup.
4 Poach the eggs while the pasta cooks: Line a tray or plate with a paper towel. Adjust the heat under the saucepan so that the poaching water barely simmers.
Crack 1 egg into a small bowl or cup and, holding the rim as close to the surface of the water as possible, drop the egg into the water.
Rapidly repeat with the remaining eggs.
Drag a wooden spoon around the edge of the pot to stir the water and gently release the eggs from the bottom.
After 2 minutes, lift 1 egg from the water with a slotted spoon and test for doneness by pressing on the egg. The white should feel firm and the yolk should still be soft. Return to the water if necessary to complete the cooking. With a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the paper towel lined plate to drain the water.
5 Assemble the pasta: Set the skillet with the garlic and tomatoes back over low heat. With tongs, add the cooked spaghetti. Add the cooked bacon, Parmesan, basil, salt, and pepper and toss together. If the spaghetti looks dry, add some of the reserved pasta water a few tablespoons at a time.
6 To serve: Divide the spaghetti among 4 plates or shallow bowls and top each with a poached egg. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if you like.
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