Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Magical Dinner

I never realized how tired I would be at six-thirty every day. I know, I know, this is about to sound like another post where some smug parent reminds non-parents that they don't know what tired is. As though non-parents don't have long days at work or play and neither collapse on the bed at the end of the day nor fall asleep at seven. Silly, silly non-parents who think they're tired. They should try being parents, and then they'll see.

Actually, it is one of those posts. I am tired, and I blame my children.

But my purpose here today is not to complain about exhaustion, but to celebrate the hour between six-thirty and seven-thirty, that first hour after both girls are in bed. I love these children to pieces, but that hour? It's pretty amazing. And I'll fight you for it.

Some days I collapse on the couch (if I haven't already fallen asleep nursing Shira). We try to eat some version of dinner as a family most nights, so this magical hour isn't usually spent cooking. Matt often heads back to the office in the evenings (Matt spends part of most days with Shira while I'm working, so he needs to make up that time) so we've usually had dinner. But sometimes I'll use these nights to cook for myself, and tonight I was rewarded with a bowl of incredible pasta and a glass of chianti, for one. Really, there is something magical about that hour, and I just needed to share it with you.

Pasta is a required food in my life. I have no patience for those who try to convince me that pasta is bad for me. My mum instilled in me a love of pasta with oil and garlic (with more than a sprinkle of parmesan) and it has remained my comfort food for years. It's cheap, real food. But in the last few years I have coveted an additional ingredient, one that could drastically change my favourite dish. But everywhere I looked, I heard people singing the praises of this little addition. I devoured Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life, where I noticed she added this special ingredient to more than just pasta, and I found that Mark Bittman considered it a staple, in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (and that little column he writes).

I was ready to try it. I added a fried egg to my pasta. And it was a fabulous decision. I hope you will too. Tonight's dinner was just the third time I've tried this, and it was certainly the best. Maybe it was the hour's magic.

Pasta with Fried Egg
Adapted from Mark Bittman

Serves one

A handful of spaghetti or any long pasta (I use whole wheat)
olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Boil the water for the pasta. Add some salt to the boiling water, add the pasta and stir to prevent sticking. While the pasta is cooking (and it won't take long), heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Let it sizzle a few minutes and then crack the eggs. Watch these eggs carefully, because you don't want them to overcook. The yolks will serve as an instant cream sauce for the warm pasta, so no eggs-over-hard for this dinner. As soon as the whites are almost set, flip them over for just a moment to warm up the yolks. Drain the pasta, add the eggs and oil, and toss with the parmesan (you can add a little reserved pasta water if it is too dry). I like to mix it up in the pot and slice up the eggs with a knife so that the egg really coats the pasta.

Pour glass of wine and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading a back-log of your posts today! Miss all of you. xo