Sunday, March 29, 2009

Italian Egg and Pasta Scramble...

We went through 7 new recipes this past week - looking back, our tops this time were those slow cookin' Chili Chicken Tacos, the spotted Black-and-White Cheesecake Squares and that snazzy Roasted Garlic-and-Spinach White Pizza.

Need to use up a bunch of eggs and have no plans for dinner? Then you'll have to try out this Italian Egg and Pasta Scramble I made for our meal tonight!

This is one of those speedy weeknight dishes that I'll have to repeat when I'm low on time or don't feel up to making a new recipe. After bringing a pot of salted water to a boil, we dropped in a smattering of rice-shaped orzo pasta. Be sure to check the bag for the cooking time as some take a short 5 minutes to cook, while other varieties need close to 8 to 10.

The recipe called for a total of ten whole eggs, but in scrambled eggs or frittatas, I like to cut down the amount of yolks a tad by switching out some of the whole eggs with egg whites. I went for seven whole eggs and six egg whites - typically the ratio for this substitution is two egg whites for each whole egg. Seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper, the beaten eggs were perked up with diced bits of smoked mozzarella and sliced fresh basil.

Before we went to scramble the eggs, we melted a pat of butter in a large skillet (haul out your biggest one!) and added chopped pieces of salty pancetta. Don't want to spend the dollars for pancetta and already have bacon on hand? You could use that instead, but just keep in mind that there already is a smokiness coming from the cheese and you don't want it to overwhelm the dish - saying that, I don't think I'd give a second thought to using bacon if I needed to! After giving the pieces enough time to crisp, we sprinkled in fresh chopped onion and let the two continue to cook until the onion was tender. Asparagus was suppose to go in at this point, but they didn't look so hot at the market this week... we decided to throw in a handful of green peas instead. I have another dish in mind for next week that uses asparagus, so I hope a good batch comes in by then!

The drained orzo was then tossed in - don't fret if the pasta looks clumpy at first as the heat from the skillet will quickly allow them to separate. The beaten egg and cheese mixture is finally poured into the pan and in just a few short minutes the pasta swells slightly, the eggs begin to form soft curds and the cheese slowly melts in. Besides adding a pop of color, the peas broke through the curds and pasta with a delightful freshness (and I'd still love to try this with asparagus!). While there isn't even an ounce of cheese per serving, the full-bodied smokiness of the mozzarella flowed throughout the mix and when paired with the rich pancetta, you definitely don't go away hungry when your plate is clean. The basil was also a nice touch!


  1. Wow, this sounds delicious. I love the addition of eggs to savory dishes. There's something so wonderfully filling and comforting about them. This looks like an awesome dinner!!

  2. Elyse - Filling and definitely comforting!