EDIT: I am resurrecting this old post from 2014 because I still love this simple, quick, “lazy carbonara” recipe (and so do my kids).
If there was ever a day when I just wanted to curl up in the corner of my couch with a blanket it’s today. Yesterday we spent the entire day pulling weeds and trying to tame the mess that is our backyard and now I am sore, sore and tired; feeling old and like a nap is the most desirable thing in the universe. I’m all stuffed up, blowing my nose constantly, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m coming down with a cold or because my fall-time allergies are kicking my butt. That cozy corner on my couch and that soft blanket are certainly calling for me.
But I’m got a four year old to entertain, laundry to do, a house to run. Same old, same old. So instead of curling up on the sofa I’m cooking a nice hot comfort meal. I asked the four year old what she wanted for lunch, “Scrambled eggs or pasta?”, and she said “BOTH! I want scrambled eggs and pasta.” I thought, “Sure, why not?”, and came up with this sort of lazy man’s carbonara, with cherry tomatoes and bits of spinach, because that’s what we had kicking around.
I’m calling it a success. It was so good I decided to jot the recipe down and share it in a blog post. I used a ridiculous amount of garlic (like maybe five cloves, I lost count), both because I am a garlic lover and also because if I am coming down with a cold I thought garlic might help fend it off. In the recipe below I suggest two cloves, but you can use more or less according to your tastes. I used olive oil because that’s what we had, but I’m sure a tablespoon of butter would go nicely.
Pasta with Scrambled Eggs
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
handful of baby spinach
pinch of salt
half a package of dry spaghetti
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp cream or milk
pepper to taste
Put a large pot of water on to boil. At the same time on another burner add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick saute pan. Put the heat to medium and while that’s heating up dice up two cloves of garlic and roughly a pint of cherry tomatoes. (Cut everything into easy big chunks. Each cherry tomato should take two or three slices). Add the garlic and tomatoes to the olive oil, turn the heat down to medium low and saute, stirring occasionally. Add a handful or two of baby spinach (torn into small piece, discarding the stems).
The water should be boiling by now. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Take half a package of spaghetti, break the dry pasta into thirds and add it to the boiling water. Cook according to time on package directions.
Once the pasta is in the water, give the veggies a good stir and turn the burner for the frying pan down to low. In a bowl combine three large eggs with a splash of cream and a bit of pepper. Add a generous portion of grated Parmesan cheese, at least a 1/4 of a cup. Beat with a fork until well blended.
When the timer rings for the pasta, drain the spaghetti in a colander and then add it to the veggies in the pan. Stir well. Really mix the pasta in so that the veggies are evenly dispersed throughout. Now turn the heat up a bit to medium and add the egg to the pan. Pour the bowl full of eggs, spreading it out over the pan, not lumped in one place. And then stir. Stir madly. Get the egg mixture all over the pasta. Stir continuously for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and keep stirring for another minute. The egg cooks very quickly. It breaks into small cheesy creamy bits, clinging to the pasta. Let the whole mess sit in the pan and cool for a few minutes. Then dish into bowls and eat it up. Yum.
This recipe, as is, should make enough for three. You could easily double it, use an entire package of spaghetti and two times everything else. You could also easily substitute leftover pre-cooked pasta instead of fresh made.
This dish brightened up my grey day and got a passing grade from my biggest critic. Let me know if you try it.