Friday, July 17, 2009

I swear I am being quite modest in my consumption

I'm cooking a lot of pasta this month. What can I say? As much as it will horrify my trainer that my July posts have all involved pasta and bread (and cake!), the part of me that is actually sticking to a running program for once in her life thinks it's OK to have some carbohydrates here and there. And I swear I am being quite modest in my consumption -- one serving, no seconds. My pants are even fitting a little better! So I don't feel bad at all, not even a little bit, for sharing another pasta recipe today.

Plus, this one is served with an egg. Protein!

Sister made this dish for me maybe a month ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. Seriously. I'm obsessive that way. It's spaghetti tossed with wilted escarole, turkey bacon and sherry vinegar then topped with a fried egg, a generous crack of black pepper and, of course, a scattering of sheep's-milk cheese. It might even make a better breakfast than dinner, if you can picture yourself boiling water for pasta in the early morning hours. Mostly I picture myself sleeping until the last possible moment and then eating granola at my desk, so maybe I'm not the best one to be dishing breakfast advice. Anyway.

If you eat pasta as often as I do, you might -- like me -- possess a keen eye for new pasta recipes that cross your path. After all, something has to pull you away from the marinara or pesto every so often. This dish is a good option, light but packed with a flavorful punch. Plus, you will feel righteous that you're eating greens. Which goes a long way toward alleviating some of the carb- and pasta-guilt. Should you have any of that rattling around.

Which I don't. Really. Did I mention I've been running?


Loosely adapted from Everyday Food

If you are of the bacon persuasion -- and I know a lot of you are -- you can certainly substitute the real stuff for the turkey bacon.

1 lb. spaghetti or angel hair pasta
4 T. olive oil, divided
8 oz. turkey bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large head escarole, chopped
1/4 t. sea salt
1/8 t. freshly-cracked black pepper
1 1/2 T. sherry vinegar
Pecorino, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti, according to the package directions, until it's al dente. Drain the spaghetti through a sieve set over a liquid measuring cup or bowl to reserve about 1/2 c. of the cooking water. Transfer the spaghetti to a serving bowl; set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 T. of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey bacon and cook until crispy, 8-10 minutes. (If you are using bacon bacon, you can omit the olive oil.) Transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside.

Add the escarole to the same skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the escarole begins to wilt, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and transfer to the bowl with the pasta. Add 1/4 c. of the reserved pasta cooking water and the reserved bacon; stir to combine.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining 2 T. olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, fry the eggs to the doneness you prefer. (I like a hard-cooked yellow, but I am aware that the runny yellow has many fans.)

Serve the spaghetti topped with a fried egg and a generous grating of Pecorino cheese.

Serves 4.


Unknown said...

This sounds yummy! I'm thinking maybe a little bit of sundried tomato??

Good luck with the running. That's something I've never really been able to do.

Laura said...

This looks so good to me right now. Maybe I should toss some bacon and noodles together for lunch--except of course without the greens it probably is not so good for me. :)

Karine said...

I love this! To feel less guilty. you can say there is escarole with your pasta :)

Dianne said...

Thanks ladies! There is just something about a fried egg atop a bowl of pasta....with or without escarole! ;)