Recipe: Pasta With a Fried Egg and Parmigiano

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To gild the lily, cook some diced bacon or pancetta, fry the eggs in the fat, and toss the crispy pieces with the pasta.

Serves 4, but recipe is easily scaled down to serve 1 or 2

    • 12 to 16 ounces (depending how hungry you are) of spaghetti, linguine, or other pasta
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 extra large eggs, preferably organic
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano

In a large pot of boiling, well-salted water, cook the spaghetti until it is slightly underdone (the pasta will keep cooking after its drained). With a measuring cup, scoop out a half cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and set the colander over a bowl while you start the eggs.

Carefully break the eggs into a bowl without breaking the yolks. Heat a 12-inch nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over moderate heat. Add the butter or oil and swirl to coat. Add the eggs, gently nudging the yolks so they are evenly spaced in the pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, cover and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

While the eggs are cooking, transfer the pasta to the cooking pot. Add about a third of a cup of the cooking water and six tablespoons grated Parmigiano. Toss until the cheese has melted and the pasta is coated with a creamy sauce, adding more cooking water if necessary to keep the pasta moist. Season with salt and pepper generously. Divide the pasta evenly among four warm dinner plates. Sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining grated cheese.

Separate the eggs with a spatula and arrange a fried egg in the center of each mound of pasta. Scatter coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley over the top, if desired. Serve at once, instructing your guests to break the yolk and toss the egg with the pasta.

To read about how Sally Schneider came up with this interesting combination, click here.

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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