Recipe Review

This Popular 2-Ingredient Pasta Sauce Is My Newest Obsession

published Jan 25, 2023
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overhead photo of a bowl of Food 52 breakfast pasta
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Any time is the right time for pasta, if you ask me. From the tomato-soup-and-butter-sauced spaghetti my dad used to make to the angel hair and Parmesan combo I lived off of in college, I’ve been finding comfort in big bowls of noodles since a very young age. Affordable, versatile, fun to eat — pasta has always been there for me. So, when I saw Olivia Mack McCool’s breakfast pasta on Food52, it felt like the answer to a question I didn’t know I’d asked. Yes, Stephanie, you can eat pasta for breakfast!

How to Make Breakfast Pasta

McCool explains that she developed this recipe while suffering from morning sickness, so you know it’s going to be mercifully easy to prepare. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil and then add a couple handfuls of pasta. McCool says to use a short cut of pasta, like shells or elbows. I had pipette rigate on hand, so I used that. Pipette rigate is a short, curved tube (it’s name means “little pipe” in Italian) with ridges that make it a certified Stage Five Sauce Clinger.

After the pasta is fully cooked, drain it in a colander and add a knob of butter to the pot. Next, add back the hot pasta. Do not rinse it first. Crack an egg right into the pot, and stir it well over the residual heat until a glossy sauce emerges. Slide the contents of the pot into a bowl and sprinkle liberally with everything seasoning. That’s it! Ease, convenience, pasta!

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

My Honest Review of Breakfast Pasta

It was love at first bite. A silky sauce made of nothing more than butter and an egg coated each noodle and gave the dish a warm richness, while the addition of everything bagel seasoning delivered salt, garlic, and a delightful seedy crunch.

There is something so elemental and comforting about this dish. It conjures the luxuriousness of carbonara but with even less fuss. You could edge closer to that classic dish with a little bacon and a flurry of Parmesan on top. Or you could toss in a handful of chives or some caramelized onions. But you don’t need to, and that’s the point. Everything you need is right in the bowl, so sit down for a second and enjoy it.

It’s a good thing I made a big bowl for myself, because I was only a few bites in when my 4-year-old asked me to share it with her. I have to admit, it was tough, but keenly aware of my insistence that she flex her own sharing muscles, I knew what I had to do. I spooned out a little bowl for her, and we both ate in contented silence before moving on with the rest of our day.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Tips for Making Breakfast Pasta

  • Go a touch beyond al dente. Since comfort is the name of the game here, McCool suggests you go just beyond al dente when cooking the noodles so they’re a little soft. Also, please don’t rinse them! You want that hot, salted water still clinging to the pasta to help melt the butter and form the sauce.
  • Try another seasoning. In lieu of, or in addition to, the everything bagel seasoning, I like to add a pinch of Aleppo pepper for a little heat. Similarly, a sprinkling of grated cheese or nutritional yeast would add a nice umami pop.
  • Add more texture. Some toasted seasoned breadcrumbs would add a lovely crunch.

Get the recipe: Breakfast Pasta