March 9, 2014

Pasta al Pomodoro with Slow-Poached Eggs

I'm happy to be participating in the March Meatless Meals party sponsored by Davidson's Safest Choice® Eggs

This month, Safest Choice asked some bloggers to make a vegetarian dish featuring eggs. Why? Because "eggs are economical, extremely versatile and might just be the world’s most perfect protein. One egg contains 70 calories and 6 grams of protein making them a great option for vegetarian recipes. And with Safest Choice Eggs all of your favorite vegetarian recipes can be enjoyed worry free because: pasteurized = peace of mind."

And because you can win big! Enter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win one of two Safest Choice prize packs (valued at $467 each)! Each prize pack will include:

  • one (1) $200 Amex gift card
  • one (1) Lodge Round Fry Pan 10”
  • one (1) Sur La Table® Red Mixing Bowls
  • one (1) Flexible Nylon Spatula
  • one (1) Eggs cookbook
  • 52 coupons for a free dozen of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs

The contest runs through March 31.

While I am kind of in love with all things pork, I don't usually cook that much meat at home on a daily basis. A typical dinner might be stir fried vegetables with rice. Or a salad of some sort. Or a make-shift soup with whatever I have on-hand. Or pasta with a simple sauce. 

I am, however, very much in the "put an egg on it" camp. Sometimes, dinner might be leftover pizza with a dippy, sunny-side-up egg on top. Or buttered noodles tossed with roasted garlic, toasted breadcrumbs, and a fried egg. Or soft boiled eggs over sautéed greens with herbed white beans.

There is nothing quite as sexy as an unctuous, runny egg yolk. And the best way to get that perfectly oozy yolk? SLOW POACHING IN THE SHELL.

Slow-Poached Eggs
recipe from David Chang's Momofuku

Fill your biggest, deepest pot with water and put it on the stove over the lowest possible heat.

Use something to keep the eggs from sitting on the bottom of the pot, where the temperature will be highest. If you’ve got a cake rack or a steamer rack, use it. If not, improvise: a doughnut of aluminum foil or a few chopsticks scattered helter skelter across the bottom of the pan will usually do the trick, but you know what you’ve got lying around. Be resourceful. (Kelly's Note: A metal trivet or an old-school collapsible metal steamer works perfectly here.)

Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the temperature in the pot – if it’s too hot, add cold water or an ice cube. Once the water is between 140 and 145F, add the eggs to the pot. Let them bathe for 40 to 45 minutes, checking the temperature regularly with the thermometer or by sticking your finger in the water (it should be the temperature of a very hot bath) and moderating it as needed.

You can use the eggs immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (If you’re planning on storing them, chill them until cold in an ice-water bath.) If you refrigerate the eggs, warm them under piping hot tap water for 1 minute before using.

To serve the eggs, crack them one at a time into a small saucer. The thin white will not and should not be firm or solid; tip the dish to pour off and discard the loosest part of the white, then slide the egg onto the dish it’s destined for.

Pasta al Pomodoro
recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
Kosher salt
3 large fresh basil leaves, minced
12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil, set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large stockpot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to plates or bowls, top with a slow-poached egg (salt & pepper the egg) & a sprinkling of cheese.
Check out more egg-centric meatless meals HERE

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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