Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Pasta with Egg

Feriday night I saw asparagus topped with a fried egg on a restaurant menu and did not order it. By Saturday, I was still thinking of asparagus and fried eggs. I tossed thinly chopped asparagus and fennel and fresh tarragon with spaghetti and topped with egg and so-good-it-was-a-splurge parmesan. Fresh and rich at the same time:

2 small servings spaghetti
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 a fennel bulb
1/2 an onion
1/2 a bunch kale

2 eggs
Snipped fresh tarragon and fennel fronds
1 lemon
Grated parmesan or other hard white cheese - bring out the big guns for this one
Olive oil, butter, good salt & pepper

Start by preparing a frying pan for the eggs and a deeper one for the veggies, and getting water boiling for pasta.

Slice onion and fennel very thin and sautee in olive oil and some sugar. You don't want any burnt or fried flavor here, so use as little oil as you can and keep the heat down. Also resist the urge to make too much onion.

If your asparagus is thick, halve or even quarter each stem lengthwise before chopping into thirds. Add to the onion and fennel once they're soft. Once the asparagus is cooked through, add a confetti of kale pieces and let them wilt, then get this part off the heat.

(Sometime during this process when your water boils, get your spaghetti going).

Once the veggies don't need further attention, melt a swirl of butter in your small pan over medium heat. Add tarragon and fennel fronds to flavor the butter, then carefully break the 2 eggs in. Don't disturb - just let them cook from the bottom up till whites are cooked through and yolks still liquid.

Toss the veggies (leaving any oil behind in the pan) into the spaghetti and divide into bowls. Top each with parmesan, salt, pepper, more of the snipped herbs, and of course an egg. Then douse with a healthy squeeze of lemon juice (1/2 a lemon each). (The toppings are key, so don't skimp.)

Break the yolks and mix into the pasta while still hot, and enjoy.

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