Pasta…for breakfast? Is the usual question I hear when I talk about making this.
Heck my husband’s first reaction was very unsure when I described what I was planning for our Sunday morning in a desire to use up the little bit of pancetta I had hanging out in the fridge. But think of it this way, we’ve all heard about making spaghetti frittatas so think of this as kind of a variation of that.
But I mean, why not? If you think about a standard Carbonara it’s an egg based sauce. Add in the leftover pancetta (Italian bacon) and some spinach and breakfast is served! You’re covering all of your basic food groups – dairy, vegetable, whole grains and protein.
Plus this is the perfect breakfast when you’ve just got little odds and ends in the pantry and fridge that you’re trying to throw together. Have a small can of diced tomatoes? Throw them in. Some leftover meat or vegetables from another night’s dinner? Throw it in. The only real necessities in this dish are the pasta, egg and splash of milk or cream. I love this because of its infinite possibilities and variations.
After my husband actually took a bite he was all for it and it’s quickly become one of his favorite breakfasts.
So give it a shot – and beat those skeptics who think you can’t have pasta for breakfast.
Note: This recipe is a little high in fat from the use of pancetta/bacon. For a lower fat option you can reduce the Parmesan, switch to center cut bacon, or cut it even further by using Canadian bacon, chicken or keep it completely vegetarian by bulking up the veggies.[hr]
- 3 oz whole wheat pasta – spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, etc
- 3 oz pancetta/bacon/etc.
- ¼ cup onions or shallots, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning, or to taste
- ½ - 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 Tbsp half and half (recommended) or milk
- 3 Tbsp shredded Parmesan, divided in half
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp - 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente and drain but do not rinse. (Can do this concurrently as you make the rest of the pasta)
- Cook pancetta in a large skillet until crisp. Remove to a plate and let drain then crumble when cool enough to handle.
- Lightly beat the eggs with the half and half or milk, salt, pepper and 1 ½ Tbsp Parmesan.
- Depending on the amount of drippings in the pan you may need to add a bit of olive oil. Saute the onions, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper (optional) for 3 – 5 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent. Add in garlic and sauté an additional 30 second – 1 minute.
- Add in spinach and wilt down (can also cover the pan for 1 minute to get it to wilt faster). Add in pasta and toss until well combined.
- Turn heat off and stirring/tossing constantly slowly add in egg mixture until pasta has been completely coated and the eggs have slightly set and made a sauce.
- Sprinkle each serving with the remaining Parmesan and serve.