DISH: Spaghetti with Spicy Red Sauce and a Fried Egg; Spinach with Bacon Bits
TYPE: Dinner for Breakfast
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Spaghetti, Canned TomatoesThere are certain people who can eat breakfast all day long. I’d put myself in that group. Really, there is nothing more delicious than a fried egg or a stack of pancakes for dinner. But I’ve also been known to eat extremely bizarre meals—Turkey Burgers, Fried Rice, Coleslaw—at 9am in the morning.
I grew up in a household where leftovers were cherished, but mainly for breakfast. My mother used to come home from restaurants with doggy bags containing half her meal, and I have many distinct memories of wandering into the kitchen in the morning, reaching for the tea kettle, and noticing her leftover salmon reheating in the microwave. Of course, given her love of fried eggs, there was usually one of those ready in the frying pan to plop on top of whatever main course she had salvaged from the night before.
I didn’t grow up eating as much dinner for breakfast as my mother, but I certainly never shy away from it now that I am living on my own. And since my office has moved to my kitchen, the combinations have become all the more bizarre and un-blogworthy.
When Cara and I went on our retreat a few months ago, it was a strange experiment for two people who spend as much time talking and emailing about food as we do, to see how our individual daily habits melded. Everything from the grocery shopping to the meals, most of which were carb-packed dishes we often make ourselves when alone, went incredibly smoothly. But it all came together for me when we had spaghetti for breakfast.
The night before, we decided to depart from spaghetti carbonara by making spaghetti with a spicy red sauce. Cara handed over the reins to me, while she got working on some greens. As is usually the case with company or without, I made way too much pasta (yay leftovers!). We ate to the point of exploding, and there was still a good portion of the bowl that was relinquished to the fridge at the end of dinner.
The next morning, we looked through the shelves, at the eggs and the bacon and the remaining leafy greens we had bought. But both of our eyes landed on the spaghetti. Cara suggested we fry it up in the pan (perhaps best done without pre-sauced spaghetti, as we discovered), and fry some eggs to go on top. The resulting tomato-y strands covered in yolk were better than the spaghetti we had eaten the night before. But then again, spaghetti for breakfast usually is.
From my kitchen, where my mother (and Cara) feed me spaghetti for breakfast, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp hot smoked paprika
¼-½ tsp cayenne (to taste)
Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Parsley for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
In a medium skillet or sauce pot, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper, paprika, cayenne, and season will salt.
Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced, and the flavors have become concentrated and spicy.
Toss the spaghetti in the sauce, grate some cheese over the top, and serve.
For breakfast the next day, reheat the spaghetti and top with an olive oil fried egg.
Spinach with Bacon Bits
Makes 2 servings
4 strips bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
10oz fresh spinach leaves
Coat a small skillet in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and fry the bacon over high heat until dark and crispy. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Turn the heat back to medium-low, and add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 1-2 minutes. Add the vinegar and allow to reduce slightly. Add the spinach and a drizzle of olive oil and toss until the spinach is well coated and beginning to wilt. Season with salt, top with the crispy bacon bits, and serve immediately.