As I'm sure you are, I'm busy with revving up for the holidays and tonight is no exception. Right now we are heading into our busiest six months of the year (November through April 15 next) at the office, so it's double time. I am still not adjusted to daylight savings time and until December 21 when I KNOW thereafter days will start to get longer a few minutes each day, it's a struggle to get up in the dark (6 a.m.), come home in the dark (after 5 p.m.), and not want to crawl under the covers of my comfy bed and shoot zzzzz's at the ceiling at 7 p.m. until the alarm goes off the next morning - in the dark!
I want to let you know about this dish I whipped up last night. It's not an original idea - pasta, egg and - add your favorite ingredients. I recall seeing a Bittmann versus the World on PBS a few years ago and it was pasta (spaghetti), onion, some herbs, I think mushrooms, and a couple of eggs. It was easy, quick and although I couldn't taste it, it certainly looked delicious!
I love to cook, but since I do not have the best skills (think "Hell's Kitchen" reject) I keep things pared down and easy as possible. I don't know what put the idea in my mind, but I thought, what the hell. I happened to have fresh mushrooms because I had a craving for sauteeing some in butter (yum!) and had picked up an 8 oz. package a day before. I was going to cook them up for myself one way or another. I always have dried, store-bought pasta in the house, and I usually have eggs. So I thinly sliced about 4 ounces of the button mushrooms and while I started sauteeing them in butter (about a tablespoon) in a large non-stick pan, I put on a single size serving of store bought dried thin spaghetti to boil - probably 4 ounces. I lightly seasoned the mushrooms (salt and pepper only) and sauteed them to the level of doneness I like.
When the pasta was just el dente, I drained it and, turning the heat off in the sautee pan, tossed the pasta into the pan, mixing it with the mushrooms and butter. I had, while the pasta was finishing it's final minute at the boil, fork-whipped an egg in a bowl and after the pasta was incorporated into the mushrooms and butter, poured it over the mixture in the hot pan, stirring with my trusty wooden spoon all the while. After a few stirs in the pan the pasta was coated and the egg was cooked but not scrambled. Must be served immediately - and I sure was ready. It looked very good and was - delicious!
After the fact, I thought a fab topping would be some fresh-grated whatever your favorite cheese is. And next time, some sauteed onions added in.
The trick is the timing and residual heat in the pan for adding and cooking the egg. The pan can't be too hot because the egg will scramble, which would no doubt taste very good anyway but not look so good (although it could probably be disguised with some grated cheese at the very end :)) The look you're after is a semi-glossy, no lumps egg-coated pasta.
Hmmm, maybe my technique is better than I thought...