Thursday, August 15, 2013

*pasta with fresh tomato sauce and 6-minute egg.


A couple of weeks ago I cleaned out the condiments in my refrigerator door. Well that's not entirely true; I weeded out just the salad dressings because I am only one woman and I certainly do not have the time to wade through every sticky bottle of mustard, curry paste, fish sauce, mayonnaise, soy sauce, and heaven only knows what else in a single evening.

I should note that of the eight bottles of salad dressing in my refrigerator, only one passed the expiration date test. One that ended up in the bin had not even been opened.

Shame. I feel shame.

The good news is that now I can just indiscriminately sweep the whole lot into the garbage, because come a-summertime, this raw tomato sauce is the only condiment I need.

All of the ingredients go into the food processor, which means that it takes 4 minutes to make. I've been eating it on EVERYTHING this week. Breakfast is crostini cut from a whole-grain baguette topped with melty mozzarella and scrambled eggs. Know what tastes great slathered all over that? This sauce.


Noodles sprinkled with fresh basil and topped with a beautiful, sunny 6-minute egg. Know what tastes great with that? This sauce.

The last time I made this sauce it was as an accompaniment to meatloaf, but none of the sauce actually made it to the table, because my family couldn't keep their focaccia-dipping fingers out of it. 

A long slab of crusty bread, a hunk of Parmesan, and this sauce will make you the most popular person at your next potluck.


It's very close to what Giada de Laurentiis taught me is "checca sauce," although naturally I had to make some adjustments for my own taste and the quantities available in my market.

Garlic is a heavy-hitter here, so I'd start with 1 or 2 cloves and then taste to see if it's to your liking. (Personally I like my raw garlic levels somewhere around vampire-killing potency, but that's not for everyone.) Throw in a little dried crushed red pepper if you want things spicy, but even I of the five-alarm taste buds didn't need it here.

Please do try a 6-minute egg when you can. It's the perfect marriage of sunny-side up and hardboiled, although my hardboiled eggs don't turn out this beautifully. (Thank you, Rachael Ray.) The whites are totally cooked, but the yolk stays velvety and runny.

I feel the need to point out that when you are a single lady with a dozen eggs, you are going to find yourself putting eggs on top of a lot of foodstuffs. (You are also going to find yourself opening your spaghetti canister to find that it only has soba noodles in it, but that's another story for another day.) I promise this won't become the Egg on Top Chronicles forever.

Use all those beautiful, perfect, late-summer tomatoes while you can!



Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and 6-Minute Egg

2 ounces spaghetti or other long pasta
1 egg, at room temperature
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup Fresh Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
Garnish: fresh basil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. Fill a large bowl two-thirds full with ice, and place in the freezer. Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a rolling boil over high heat; carefully lower egg into boiling water. Cook egg 6 minutes. With 1 minute remaining in egg cook time, remove bowl of ice from freezer and fill bowl with water. Transfer egg to ice bath with a slotted spoon, let cool, and carefully peel.

3. Transfer hot cooked noodles to a plate, and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Top with Checca Sauce and egg. Sprinkle egg with additional kosher salt. Garnish, if desired. Makes 1 serving.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onion (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
2 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
10 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Stir in kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Makes 2 cups.





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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.