You know, you can do some amazing things with a hand-held vegetable peeler if you put your mind to it. You can also mangle a lot of zucchini, so it’s a damn good thing that they’re cheap as shit at the farmers’ markets right about now.
Before I go on, there’s an observation I need to make. You may want to take your seats, as it’s quite mind-blowing:
People on the internet love the word “fuck.”
It’s true! I know this because yesterday I posted these post-its for Awesome Shit day, and St. Peter be my great-uncle* if y’all did not StumbleUpon the living shit out of them. Also because the more I curse in my posts, the more popular they are. You know who you are? A bunch of skeeves, that’s who. And I? Am an enabler.
Moving on: As mentioned above, there’s still a fuckload of zucchini at the farmers’ markets I frequent because of this fucking fucked-up summer we’re having. This week, there were gorgeous yellow squash, as well, along with some giant fucking carrots. I’ve been wanting to make vegetable “fettucine” for a while, and thought this was as good a fucking time as any. Vegetable fettuccine: all the fork-twirling fun, none of the tedious rolling and cutting (fuck no, I don’t own a pasta roller; they’re for fucking wimps).
‘Kay, I’m done now. It actually took work to figure out how to drop the bomb that many times.
So I got out the ol’ veggie peeler, and got to stripping down some squash while bacon rendered in the skillet. If I may be candid, I was and am unsure of this bacon’s age. But it smelled like bacon, did not have any obvious growths and was Niman Ranch, so I used it. We have strong constitutions, and that’s some good bacon.
I broke down two rather racy-looking zucchini, one big yellow summer squash and two even racier-looking carrots into long, thin strips, then cut each in thirds the long way to get my fettuccine. I briefly considered mixing them with some actual pasta, but I was trying to be kinda healthy so I didn’t. I know, there’s bacon. Later, there’s cream. But there’s always room for bacon, it was only one strip, and that lo-carb guy who used to have a show on the Food Network: You’re Welcome for Sandra Lee used to tell us that heavy cream is the low carbohydrate dieter’s best friend. I believe anything I learn from the Food Network: You’re Also Welcome for Guy Fieri and Yes, We Know “Chopped” Sucks So You Don’t Have To Keep Telling Us.
When the bacon had rendered down and I was done mauling the veg, I tossed the carrots in to get a head start, then added the squash to cook just enough to remove the obvious rawness and get the veg to drape languidly across my fork.
Just before optimum languidity was reached, I added a turn of the pans’ worth of cream and a few big handfuls of parmigiana, turning my veg fettuccine into something like a veg fettuccine alfredo. I tossed everything together a few times to help it come together, completely forgot to add the lemon zest and fresh thyme I’d planned on including to add some zing despite the fact that both were sitting in plain view on the counter, and dinner was served.
I can’t just eat a bowl of shaved squash, even if there are bacon bits, because I will end up hungry and prowling the kitchen for Cheetos I know aren’t there 45 minutes later.* What could I add to this that would be fast, cheap, tasty and add some protein? What is there…
POACHED EGG, MOTHERFUCKERS. I know that if I can do one thing, it’s curse like a sailor. And I can poach an egg as well.
*I may have eaten a giant bowl of Cocoa Pebbles, but let the record show that a full 3 hours have passed. I should have had two eggs. Lesson learned.
Exhibit A: A poached egg totally better than you could do, and you know it. And TELL me that that doesn’t look like some (oddly colored) pasta.
Aside: Sure, I COULD be watching Dancing with the Stars between spurts of writing. But then again, I could not be, and you will NEVER KNOW.
Exhibit B: OPTIMUM LANGUIDITY ACHIEVED. Totally twirlable veg!
Okay, that last sentence fragment sounded like a Pantene commercial, except for the “veg” part which would obviously make no sense. I apologize. Will it help if I curse? Here you go: Shitballs.
There’s not a ton to say about the finished dish other than: it done me a solid. Despite the cream, I felt virtuous for eating what really amounts to a big ol’ bowl of vegetables with an egg on top. The parm-enriched cream coated each strand nicely, and there is clearly no way to go wrong with the oozy goodness of a well-poached egg unless it was an egg laid by Satan himself, if Satan were a hen. (Even then, I might be swayed if it were really well-poached, but it would have to be PERFECT.) The sweetness of the cream took the oh-so-slightly bitter edge off the barely cooked zukes and little salty bacon bites added the punctuation.
Colons, mostly. I love colons. I know, you thought I was going to go with exclamation points.
Shows what you know.
Quick Summer Veg Fettuccine Alfredo for 2
1-2 zucchini, 1 small or 2 medium
1-2 summer squash, same as above
1-2 carrots, ditto
2 slices bacon
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1/3 c. grated parm
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. white vinegar.
Break down the veg: Using either a hand-held peeler, microplane or knife if you are feeling hard core and restless, cut each vegetable into long strips, then cut the strips into thirds the long way to get long, pasta-like strands.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet, chop the bacon roughly and add it and cook until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is slightly crispy. Fill a straight-sided pan with water, add the vinegar and put it on the heat to come to a boil for the eggs.
Time to cook veg: It’ll go pretty quickly, since they’re sliced so thinly. Add the carrots to the pan first since they’re a little heartier; toss them with the bacon and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the zukes and squash, and cook for another 2 minutes; then add the cream and cheese and pepper to taste, toss to combine and cook until the veg are limpid but still intact. Turn off the heat.
Time to poach eggs: Crack each egg into a little cup, like a small ramekin or measuring cup. When the water’s come to a boil, cut the heat, let the boiling subside and slip each egg into the water. Cover the pan and poach for exactly 3 minutes; 3:30 if you have extra-large eggs or don’t like your yolks so runny.
Split the veg between two plates. Fish the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and place one on each plate. Chow.
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