I know, right? It is short for Friday Spaghetti, but when you’re seven or eight and you learn about this dish, for some reason, it’s always going to be “Sketti.”
Mom made this on Fridays when we were children because we couldn’t eat meat on Friday, and fish was a lot more expensive than pasta and a couple of eggs. She was born in 1930. Her Mom and Dad were both Italian, so she probably learned it from her Mom for the same reason, as money was probably a bit tight in the 30’s. Egg is an inexpensive way to add protein to a pasta dish.
This is a quick, delicious inexpensive way to whip up something quickly that will make everybody happy. This dish is so fast that I started it just before I started this post, and I’ll have to eat before I’m finished. So if you don’t have a lot of time, this is a winner.
There are two things people fight over – tomato chunks and egg chunks, so be careful during the egg addition to make sure you get chunks. This is probably a four serving preparation if you have an iron will. It never makes it to four with us.
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
1 28 oz can whole or diced tomatoes
2 tsp (about) dried basil
2 extra large eggs beaten
Salt to taste
1 lb of spaghetti (You can use another pasta, we only use spaghetti, thus the name.)
Start a large pot of salted water to cook pasta. Check to see how salty the water is before you add the pasta. I am a fan of Anne Burrell on the Food Channel and she is correct – it should be salty like the ocean. No matter how good your sauce is, she says, “if the pasta water is not salty enough, your dish will never recover.” So take Anne’s advice and salt your pasta water “like the ocean.”
Once your pasta water is heating, start your sauce. By the time your pasta is cooked the sauce will be done.
On medium heat, cook garlic in olive oil in a large saute pan, don’t let it burn, just let it flavor the oil. Shake the pan to move the garlic around. Add the tomatoes. If you’re using whole tomatoes, break them up with your hands as you dump them into the pan. If you’re using diced, just pour them in. Add basil. Bring the sauce to a strong simmer. Stir and lower heat.
Add the slightly beaten eggs by pouring them around the top of the sauce. Don’t stir a lot here. You want the eggs to start to scramble in the sauce. Every few minutes you can stir gently to move the scrambled eggs through. If you do stir them too much, the sauce will become more pink, but it’s still just as yummy. Leave it on a low simmer until your spaghetti is done.
When your pasta water starts to boil, add the pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain pasta and add it to the sauce in the large saute pan. Toss to combine while still on the heat. It’s ready to serve.
Top with your favorite Italian cheese. We used Parmesan growing up but it’s also good with Pecorino Romano.