A popular restaurant Hugo’s, in West Hollywood, Calif., has been critically acclaimed for one of its menu items, Pasta Mama.
The first time I heard about it, I thought it was a bit odd. Pasta with eggs? I couldn’t imagine what would prompt people to drive many miles to get Pasta Mama. But they do, insisting, it’s the best pasta they’ve ever eaten.
I had to try it, and as you might imagine, I love it. I would describe it to you here, but it’s indescribable—indescribably delicious, that is.
But I don’t drive to Hugo’s to pay $15 (plus tax and tip) for this dish. Instead, I make it myself, from scratch, following my copycat recipe, which follows below. What a wonderful, simply satisfying dinner—or breakfast—entree.
Pasta Mama takes all of about 10 minutes from start to finish and feeds two for a total cost of about a buck. Don’t worry, the recipe can be doubled easily, with great results.
At that price, you have little to lose if you try it and don’t like it, and chances are really good that you’ll love it.
In fact, I won’t be surprised to hear that you’ve added Pasta Mama to your family’s list of favorite meals. Serve it once a week and your grocery budget will love you.
- pasta, spaghetti or fettucini
- fresh garlic
- garlic powder
- ground oregano
- onion powder
- seasoning salt
- fresh parsley
- olive oil
- pasta water
- Parmesan cheese
- 5 oz pasta dry or fresh, like fettuccini or spaghetti
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground oregano
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 - 3 tbsp reserved pasta water or water
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
- Prepare pasta according to package directions (or use any kind of leftover pasta).
- While pasta is cooking, mix seasonings together in a small bowl and beat the eggs in another bowl. Set both aside.
- Pour oil (or melt butter) in a 10-inch saute pan. Add minced garlic and the entire amount of seasoning mix (should be 1 teaspoon total).
- Saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add parsley; add hot pasta right out of the cooking water along with one tablespoon of hot water. (If you are using leftover pasta, make sure it is hot!)
- Add the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly, tossing it in the pan using tongs.
- Add Parmesan. Toss and allow to cook for an additional 30 seconds. Serve immediately.
Pasta Mama has as many variations as you can dream up. To make it Pasta Papa, add anything you would put in an omelet—other cheeses, sausage, bacon, chicken; adjust seasonings to taste. Enjoy!
Question: Is there a dish you make at home that’s a dead ringer for a popular, pricey restaurant dish? Oh, please share!
Original 2-13-2015; Updated 3-29-2019