Baked Eggs and Bacon Cream In Spinach Fettuccine Nests



I begin with my bacon (I’ve never had bacon this fresh before, from an entirely organic source so close to home that my husband is literally feeding next season’s pork belly), which I chop and try out to nice crispy cubelets. Now… the rest of the meal will take less than 25 minutes: 10 minutes to boil the pasta, make the sauce, and assemble the dish (and, if you’re like me, some sub-urb biscuits), and 15 minutes to bake it (while you make a quick salad). So be ready.
I melt my butter in my wok over high heat. I throw my pasta nests into the salted boiling water on the back burner.
When my butter is melted and just begging to tan, I add my heavy cream and blend well. I bring this to a simmer for a moment.
Then I add 3/4 of my cheese, which I’ve shredded. (The rest I will thinly shave for a final garnish.)
I blend this well, bringing it to a low simmer to thicken, until it forms a smooth sauce. I also add some salt and pepper. (Crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, paprika, maybe even a dash of curry powder would work nicely here, too.)
Finally, I add 3/4 of my cooked bacon, and blend well with the sauce, until the flavors are beautifully infused.
It’s been 10 minutes, and my 11 minute pasta is just slightly undercooked (I know, ‘cuz I bit off a snippet) — perfect! Using tongs and a meshed spoon, I transfer my pasta to the waiting bacon cream, and toss well. I add a tablespoon, maybe, of the pasta water, too, just to keep the sauce wet enough to bake later.
Using my tongs, I spin 1/2 of the pasta and sauce into each of two medium (10oz) ceramic ramekins, which I’ve brushed down with melted butter. I sprinkle most of the rest of my bacon (reserving a few chunks for a final flourish) on top.
The piece of resistance: a whole, cracked, raw egg, dropped into a wee basket I left in the middle of my pasta and sauce nests. I manage to keep the yolk whole only in one, but the other I rather “hold together” by virtue of a cleverly placed noodle and some dribbled sauce. I place these into a 350° oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until the whites have set, but the yolk is still glossy and runny.
After coring the best bits out of a loaf of bread destined for nothing (since my husband purchased a fresher loaf of preferred pan this afternoon) with a properly sized wine-glass rim, I brushed each disk with melted butter, and layered them with some of my sprinkled cheese into 4 cups of a buttered muffin tin, and then I stuck them in my oven along with my pasta nests to brown. I consider these my sub-urb Wonderbread biscuits: quick, easy, and yummy, leaving fodder for croûtons (or compost). I also threw together a quick salad of baby greens, sliced onion, strips of roasted red peppers, black olives, EVOO, and salt and pepper. Not that dinner needed these accoutrement – my simmering, saucy noodle nests of runny yolk baked eggs, bac




Monday, March 28, 2011 - 7:35pm


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