1 lb. dried spaghetti or linguine
1/4 to 1/3 lb. bacon or pancetta cut into very small pieces
2 T. butter
1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
salt and pepper
1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan but save 2-3 T of the fat. Wipe the pan clean.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Salt the water to taste like sea water.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is just barely done (it will continue cooking a bit while you drain it).
4. While the pasta is cooking, heat the skillet or other a large pan over very low heat. Add the butter and the reserved bacon fat and heat until the butter is just melted. Keep warm over very low heat.
5. Break the eggs into a small bowl and mix to break up. Add the milk or half-and-half.
6. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the butter and bacon fat. Toss to coat the pasta.
7. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the pasta and toss to make certain the eggs are evenly distributed and do not scramble. Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta and toss until melted.
8. Top with freshly ground pepper and more grated cheese, if desired.
This recipe has something each of my daughters especially like. For Kate it is beets, and for Sarah the greens. For this reason (since lots of other folks have similar tastes) it is a versatile recipe, as well as easy.
For four side dish servings (but can be doubled or tripled for a crowd)
1 bunch of beets with healthy looking and full greens still attached (if you can’t find any with greens, swiss chard–especially red– can be substituted for the beet greens).
1-2 slices of bacon (optional)
1 T. olive oil (if not using bacon)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. of balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
- Cut beets from greens.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (this can be done in a toaster oven–I usually do)
- Wash any dirt from the beets and shake dry.
- Wrap beets together in a packet of aluminum foil that is crimped closed.
- Roast beets for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on size, until a sharp knife inserted into the center of each glides in very easily. Allow to cool until they can be comfortably handled.
- Using your hands, preferably in gloves or with a paper towel covering the beets, gently peel off the skin and trim tops and bottoms. Set beets aside (in the refrigerator if it is going to be more than an hour or so) until ready to reheat and serve.
- While the beets are roasting, trim the beet greens from their stems and wash (they may be very sandy) and roughly chop.
- Place the bacon, if using, in a fry pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold all of the beet greens. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon from the fat. If not using bacon, add olive to pan.
- Add the minced garlic to the fat in the pan and sauté until just fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add the beet greens to the garlic and fat and toss quickly to coat. Cover the pan and let the greens steam until just wilted.
- Uncover the pan and add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, tossing to coat and allowing a little of the liquid in the pan to evaporate.
- Crumble the bacon, if using, back into the greens. Taste and add more vinegar, salt or pepper as needed.
- Slice the roasted beets and reheat briefly in the microwave or in a small pan on the stovetop, until just heated through.
- Place a portion of beet greens on each plate and top with sliced beets. If beets are not very sweet you can drizzle a little honey on top as a finishing touch.