Egg-Topped Noodles with Asparagus and Bacon {Cook the Books Club}

The October/November book selection for Cook the Books Club (the club in which members read a selected novel and create a recipe inspired by it) was hosted by Simona from Briciole.  Simona chose That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx.  (Click here for my full review on GoodReads)

In the story, Bob Dollar begins working for Global Pork, scouting for sites for hog farms.  To be honest, Bob Dollar and Global Pork didn’t do it for me.  I had a hard time connecting with main character and thought his storyline wasn’t believable.

However, I absolutely loved the fictional town of Wollybucket and all of its inhabitants, past and “present”.  They were nutty and endearing and exactly what I’d expect from an isolated rural community! 

I was originally going to make Sonofabitch Stew because I’m immature and the name made me giggle.  Then I found out what it’s made of:

2 pounds lean beef
Half a calf heart
1/2 pounds calf liver
1 set sweetbreads
1 set brains
1 set marrow gut
Salt, pepper

Louisiana hot sauce


So it was back to the drawing board.

Since I loved the town and all its wacky residents, I was inspired by some of the own home cooking that was mentioned in passing.  Here’s a short excerpt from page 232-233:

“The asparagus days were upon them.  LaVon had been busy pickling the slender stalks and freezing the stouter ones.  Everyone had special asparagus recipes – stir-fried beef with asparagus, cream of asparagus soup, asparagus strudel, asparagus and noodles.  LaVon insisted he try her Salade de Saint-Jacques, a knot of defrosted scallops heaped in the center of a plate and radiating from this hub fourteen asparagus spears, atop each a thread-thin raw enoki mushroom.  The sauce, composed of equal parts, horseradish, gin, tomato paste and whipped cream, took his breath away.”

Since the “Salade de Saint-Jacques” sounds completely vile, I decided to go for the asparagus and noodles.  It was vague enough that I knew I could take any direction I wanted!

I ended up going for a simply dressed spaghetti with asparagus.  And, of course, egg and bacon (because I love eggs and bacon…on EVERYTHING).

The end result was delicious!  Even Dude and Spud enjoyed the meal (minus the egg) and Dude even admitting to liking asparagus!  Mom for the win!

Egg-Topped Noodles with Asparagus and Bacon
Adapted from Epicurious

½ lb bacon, cut in small strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti
1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed, chopped in 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
4-6 eggs

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, add the asparagus during the last 3 minutes of cooking.  Once cooked, drain and stir in the olive oil.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp.  In the last minute of cooking, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Remove the bacon and garlic to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Drain off most of the bacon grease.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the eggs, adding a crack of black pepper.  Cook until the top is set.  Move the eggs to a separate plate.

Add the pasta, asparagus, bacon mixture, parmesan, and red pepper flakes back into the skillet and stir until heated through.  Divide evenly onto 4 plates and top with a fried egg.

Serves 4-6


  1. G'day! Great recipe and post! Love how you initially picked a recipe and your Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope make me laugh today!
    Congrats on completing this month's Cook the Book's challenge!
    Post coming soon! Cheers! Joanne @What's On The List

  2. G'day! I thought I commented the other day Amy, but don't see the comment!
    Great post and congrats on also completing the October/November Cook The Books Challenge...
    Loved the reasons why you did not cook the stew and Nope Nope Nope Nope make me laugh today too!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What's On The List

  3. I'm still making my way through the book. Not loving it, but I'm reading it!

  4. I love your post! I'm an avid reader and often am inspired to make things referenced in books. The picture is priceless. If I hadn't known it wasn't a restaurant plate, I would totally have thought it was a place to track down an try because it looks so yummy.

  5. Your asparagus dish is perfect. Certainly beats La Von's gruesome recipe.

  6. I looked at the son-of-a-bitch stew too and had to decline as well.
    Glad you enjoyed the locale of Bob's adventures if not Bob himself.
    I am sure your noodles would be a welcome addition to the Old Dog Cafe's menu ;)
    Thank you so much for your contribution to this edition of Cook the Books.

  7. What I love most about going through the round up posts is beig reminded about protections of the book I had totally forgotten. Great dish, Amy.

  8. Love it! I was considering an asparagus dish at one point too. That sauce on LaVon's Salade de Saint-Jacques did sound really terrible. ;-)
    I am especially loving that egg that is topping your dish--yum!


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