Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pasta Emily

This recipe comes from a Sunset Magazine Recipe Annual cookbook from the 1989. I won't lie - a lot of 80's cookbooks give me the willies. Weird arrangements, odd garnishes, remnants of 'haute cuisine' elements from the 50's, like aspics. Pasta Emily and its variations, however, are simple, tasty gems.

The recipe is found in the March section of the annual, with the heading Pasta for Breakfast because they include, you guessed it, eggs. I've never had it for breakfast, but I don't think it'd take much convincing for me to try it. I make this regularly for lunch or dinner because I usually have all the ingredients on hand, it's a one pot meal and it's very fast. It always hits the spot. The Man and I split a recipe with a little leftover (if he's not completely ravenous that day).

I grew up with this recipe and only recently looked at the actual printed directions in the book. I've never seen a more adorable set of recipe variations; there's a Pasta alla Mama on which the others are based, Pasta Papa, Pasta Maxwell and Pasta Emily- a whole pasta family! My father and I just recently made one of the other members of the family, Pasta Papa, and it was different, but equally delicious. I'll include some of the other variations' ingredients below... just to keep the whole family together. 


Pasta Emily
from Sunset Magazine's Sunset Recipe Annual: 1989 Edition


3/4 pound spaghetti (I love it with linguini)
3 tbsp butter or olive oil (or a mix)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-large red or yellow onion, chopped
2-3 eggs, beaten (I generally do 2)
3-5 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional, and delicious)
1 or 2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
a bunch of cilantro, chopped


1. Put large pot of salted water on to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
2. In the same pot, melt butter or add oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft, about 1 minute. 
3. Add drained pasta and mix well, aiming to coat the pasta with your hot butter or oil.
4. Add eggs and cheese if using, stir to coat pasta and cook until eggs are set, about 1-2 minutes. (Don't over cook the egg, ew.)
5. Add tomato, avocado and cilantro and stir quickly, then take pan off of heat. Season with salt and pepper and eat!

I eat mine with lots of pepper flakes on top and extra cilantro. Yum!

Bonus Variations:

Pasta alla Mama includes everything in Pasta Emily up to the parmesan cheese, then adds parsley.

Pasta Papa is a heart-clenchingly delicious concoction of 2 links hot italian sausage crumbled, 3 slices bacon chopped into pieces, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped green onion, 3 eggs, chopped parsley and parmesan. It's amazing!

Pasta Maxwell includes everything in Pasta alla Mama, then adds chopped smoked salmon and thinly sliced green onion. Mmm!