Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More eggs, please.

I have been eating a lot of eggs. And I mean a lot. Serben Free Range has a great deal on eggs each week at the City Market - two dozen for $8 - that I've been taking advantage of. Combined with a little spinach, and usually a piece of toast, I'm perfectly happy with poached, fried or scrambled eggs at either breakfast or dinner. For lunch, hard boiled eggs have become a quick standby.

By far the best egg-involved recipe I've come across is on the cover of Nancy Silverton's "A Twist of the Wrist" - Pappardelle with bagna cauda, wilted radicchio and a fried egg.

At first I was a little confused by this book. Really, most of Silverton's shortcuts are things I already do everyday; the majority of our pasta comes from a bag or box, our mayo from a jar and our tomatoes from cans. But what I think she's asking people to do is meet her halfway. To pick up a great can of tomatoes, or a really great pasta, and go from there, instead of heading toward frozen entrees or take out. Her combinations are quick and easy, and most importantly, tasty. Plus, they're introducing tinned/jarred items that I wouldn't normally keep stocked at home, like anchovies.

I've tried to make bagna cauda - a combo of butter, olive oil, anchovies, garlic, lemon and parsley - in the past and it didn't go well. The oil must have been too hot and the anchovies too cold, because they spattered everywhere and were burnt far before melting into the olive oil like they were supposed to. So this time I turned down the heat and pulled the anchovies out of the fridge and tin about an hour before I needed them, and everything went beautifully. In just five minutes the sauce was done. No jarred bagna cauda required.

Instead of pappardelle I used some tagliatelle we had in the pantry, and instead of radicchio, I braised some kale the night before and warmed it in the sauce before adding the pasta, pasta water and parmesan and topping everything off with the fried egg.

For such a quick meal this one is beautifully rounded. Salty and savoury from the sauce, silky smooth thanks to the egg and pasta. The kale cut through the richness well, as I imagine the radicchio would too. What I love most about this recipe is that it can be scaled up or down quite easily. I quartered it and had enough for yesterday's dinner with a little leftover for today's lunch. If you need something a little more hardy, it's easy enough to add that extra egg.


Isabelle said...

Yum. I love anything with a fried egg on top. Sadly I'm not eating runny eggs right now due to the pregnancy. I can't wait for my first one!

Maki said...

This is so funny because I too have been eating a lot of eggs. I mean a LOT too! It's so easy and quick. I actually have a picture with an egg atop of spinach waiting for a post! haha.

My hubby buys our eggs from a farmer friend so we need to make sure we clear out our 2 dozen every week.

Marianne said...

Isabelle - I bet! That runny yolk does make a huge impact. It's funny, I used to hate eggs. And if I had to eat them, there could be no runny yolk in sight.

Maki - That's exactly it - they're easy and quick. Haha. Looking forward to your post! And of course the pic :-)

wannafoodie said...

I love this post. I've never made bagna cauda. I may have to take your lead... :)

Marianne said...

@Wannafoodie - Thanks!