12 ounces spaghetti
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
7-8 Roma tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbs. vinegar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, torn into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper
olive oil for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (at least 4 quarts of water and 2 Tbs. salt). Add the spaghetti and cook for 8-9 minutes or until al dente. Remove 1 cup pasta water and set aside (may be used later).
Cook the bacon in a large (12 inch) skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. To the skillet, add garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring often for 2 minutest or just until the garlic turns a pale golden and the tomatoes soften. Remove pan from heat.
Poach eggs by bringing a medium sauce pan or small skillet with 2 inches of salted water to a rolling boil. Add vinegar (helps the egg whites stay together). Line a plate with a paper towel. Adjust heat under saucepan to simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl/cup and holding the rim close to the surface of the water, slide the egg into the water. Rapidly repeat with remaining eggs. Drag a spoon around the edge of the pot to stir the water and gently release the eggs from the bottom of the pan. After 2 minutes, lift 1 egg from the water with a slotted spoon and test the doneness by pressing the egg. The white should feel firm and the yolk should still be soft. Return to water if necessary to complete cooking. With a slotted spoon, transfer cooked eggs to plate to drain water.
To finish: return skillet with garlic and tomatoes back over low heat. With tongs, add cooked spaghetti. Add bacon, parmesan, basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. If the spaghetti looks dry, add some of the reserved pasta water a few Tbs. at a time. Toss gently to combine.
Divide the spaghetti mixture among 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top each with a poached egg. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with freshly ground black pepper if desired.