Spaghetti with a Fried Egg, English Peas & Arugula, Quick ‘n E-zee

May 1, 2012 § 2 Comments


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? For my family, it was definitely the egg.  We are the beneficiaries of friends’ and neighbors’ super-productive hens.  It seems like right now my urban farmer friends have more eggs than they know what to do with, so they put those eggs in my greedy little palms.  Each February I consider getting chickens, but by May I realize I can have many delicious eggs and no chickens at all.  I’m such a lucky freeloader!

I may have a hard time figuring out what to do with hard-boiled eggs, but super-fresh fried eggs fire me up.   They are magnificent on fried rice, smashing in a tortilla with some salsa & cilantro, and splendid on pasta.  My favorite egg/pasta combo used to be spaghetti carbonara, but that recently got bumped.  Now I think frying a small egg and laying it on top of pasta is perfect.  The runny yolk becomes a golden, silky sauce.  The texture of the crisped egg white  is lovely with bites of pasta.  This version is all about springtime, with English peas and arugula, but the dish will be easy to reinvent in the autumn with sturdy greens.  As long as the chickens are still laying, this will be at the top of my weeknight quick dinner hit list.  If you can manage to boil the pasta, cook the veggies and fry up the eggs simultaneously (and I know you can), dinner will be ready in a flash. Ka-pow!

Spaghetti with a Fried Egg, English Peas & Arugula

Serves 4

6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2″ wide strips

2 T butter

1 small shallot, minced

1 cup shelled English peas (or frozen peas)

1 bunch of arugula, washed

1 lb dried spaghetti

4 small, fresh eggs

2 Tbsp canola oil

3 Tbsp parmesan, plus additional for serving

1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil & cook the spaghetti until al dente, about 8 minutes. (I put the pasta bowls in the sink and pour hot pasta water into them when I drain the pasta.  The bowls stay warm until you’re ready to serve the pasta, and your dinner stays hot while you’re eating.)

2. Meanwhile, fry the bacon until it’s nearly crisp.  Add the butter and shallots, and cook until the shallots are translucent. Add the peas and cook for a few minutes.  Add the arugula and take the pan off the heat until the eggs and pasta are ready.

3. Meanwhile, fry up those beautiful little eggs in canola oil over high heat.

4. Once the pasta is cooked & drained, add it to the pan with the arugula and peas and toss.  The hot pasta will wilt the arugula.  Add the parmesan and toss some more.

5. Add pasta to each warmed bowl and top with a fried egg.

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