Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fettuccine Carbonara with Fried Eggs

Lately our motto is if it tastes great as is, it will taste even better with a fried egg on top. Yep, a fried egg.

I admit that I too thought this was strange the first time the Kitchen Genius suggested it. He and a bunch of friends went to Boston for a Bruins game. On the way they stopped at the Weymouth Hearth ‘N Kettle and they all ordered bacon cheeseburgers with fried eggs on top. (Guys are weird!)

Funny thing, the chef was more than happy to grant their request because he and his sous chef had been topping all their food with sunny-side up eggs. (More guys are weird!)

I thought eggs were just breakfast food, even if we had them for dinner, which we sometimes do because I love breakfast food, but don't eat many big breakfasts.

My response to the cheeseburger experiment was less than enthusiastic - until I had the chance to try a fried egg on pasta. Yep, on pasta.

Apparently the fried egg craving was kicked off by a recipe KG saw in the January 2009 issue of bon appétit. And it is not just any recipe. Bon appétit has named Fettuccini Carbonara with Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe the “Dish of the Year” on their cover along with the caption: “The Value Issue: Eat Better for Less.”

How could you not want to make the dish of the year??? Especially if it had a fried egg on it??? KG just couldn’t resist, and his fettuccine carbonara was simply melt in your mouth awesome. The eggs and cheese coated the pasta with a thick rich sauce and the yolk from the fried egg added an extra layer of creamy decadence that simply made this dish shine.

It seems pasta is the new cool food lately and it is showing up in all the finest magazines along with other budget recipes. Gourmet has spaghetti and meatballs on their January cover with the whole issue devoted to Italian American food.

Even though pasta is considered a bargain, it is one of my favorite foods, so I’m not feeling like this is a sacrifice. I can’t wait to try more unique and flavorful pastas in the New Year. I even bought KG a book called Pastissima!: Pasta the Italian Way
for Christmas, and I can’t wait to dig into the book myself and taste the wonders.

What’s your favorite pasta recipe and what dishes are you looking forward to creating in the New Year?

The Recipe:
From bon appétit

Fettuccine Carbonara with Fried Eggs
4 servings

8 large eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon) finely chopped
12 ounces egg fettuccine
1 medium bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Whisk 4 eggs, both cheeses, garlic and pepper in medium bowl; set aside. Cook pancetta in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl. Reserve skillet with drippings.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender (about 3 minutes less than package directions); add broccoli rabe. Cook just until broccoli rabe is crisp tender and pasta is tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain pasta-broccoli rabe mixture, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return hot pasta-broccoli rabe mixture to pot (off heat). Immediately add egg-cheese mixture, pancetta, and 1/2 cup cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoons to moisten as needed. Season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Cover to keep warm.

Heat skillet with pancetta drippings over medium heat. Crack remaining four eggs into skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until whites are opaque, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn eggs over; cook just until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Top pasta with eggs and serve.

For a printable recipe click here


sj said...

Oh does this sound wonderful! I too think everything sounds better with an egg on top :)

Happy New Year to you... may 2009 be the best ever for you and yours!

vanillasugarblog said...

ohhh Laurie I have to admit I love eating my eggs atop anything. I love this and do it many times a month.
my favorite pasta dish, that's hard as we eat a lot of italian dishes here but probably homemade manicotti (where you make everything from scratch even the crepes for stuffing) and bucatini al'amatricana.
It's sooooo cold out! Last night we had -5 wind chills! Yikes!

Michele said...

My favorite pasta dish is my death by garlic pasta. I don't know that I'd put an egg on top of that, but I've been known to add a soft fried egg to steamed spinach, soups, sandwiches and my favorite..on top of homemade baked beans. I agree with KG...everything is better with a fried egg on it.
I'm looking forward to creating a lot of soups this year and cutting back our food spending by trying more cheap eats ideas.

Thistlemoon said...

That looks great, Laurie! I love eggs! So this is right up my alley, plus I have been known to eat a lot of strange combinations myself!

Cathy said...

This sounds incredible! I had to laugh at your post, because in our college town, there was a little hole in the wall dive restaurant famous for "The Gusburger" -- burger with a fried egg on top. The college boys loved 'em. This carbonara with an egg on top makes perfect sense, and really sounds amazing. Happy New Year!

Laurie said...

Thanks for sharing all your eggy and pasta stories! You've given me new ideas...

Debbie said...

oohhh.... I was just going to say that my favorite burger at "Red Robin" (a west coast fav) has a fried egg.
Your pasta dish looks great!

Alicia Foodycat said...

A fried egg on your burger is an Australian tradition - it isn't a proper burger without bacon, cheese, a slice of beetroot and a fried egg.