This hasn’t been my favorite week. I’m working a lot and not sleeping much. I’ve been away from my home, from my kitchen, from that spot in front of my stove where I get to smell garlic simmering in olive oil. I got back there for just one second last night and it was nice.
The next couple
weeks months are going to be busy. I’m hoping meals like this will keep me going, brief moments when I can feel like myself again amid the mind numbness. This bowl was thrown together from things I had in my fridge and cabinets and you probably do too. When it comes to simple comfort food, I love a good bowl of pasta more than just about anything else.
And speaking of comfort food, pasta topped with a creamy poached egg and crispy breadcrumbs. That sounds like the most dreamy concoction a girl could think up.
First lets talk about the breadcrumbs. Yes, I made them from scratch and it takes just all of 5 minutes if you have a food processor (my mini cup is perfect for this). If not you could totally use your hands and a sharp knife to tear them apart. This is the perfect use for that slightly stale crusty loaf that was delicious two days ago but is now past it’s prime. Just remove the crust and blend up into little pieces.
When it comes to really great pasta, I’ve found that the key is good timing. There can be a lot going on, if you’re trying to time a sauce and pasta to be prepared at the same time. Throw in a poached egg and things can get very confusing. The key: have all your ingredients prepped, down to having two eggs cracked into ramekins or bowls ready to go into your pasta liquid.
And yes, that’s right anchovies…again. They are going to pack a major umami punch to this pasta, but if you must you can omit or cut back on them. At three, there is no fishiness, just a whole lot of lip-smacking savory goodness.
Bucatini Pasta with Kale and a Poached Egg
2 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
1/2 cup course fresh bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, diced and divided
4-6 ounces of spaghetti, bucatini, or other long pasta shape
2 tablespoons butter
2-4 anchovy fillets
1 small bunch of kale, leaves separated from the stems
2 ounces (~1/2 cup) grated parmesan
salt and pepper
2 eggs, cracked into ramekins or small bowls
Special Equipment Needed:None
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pen with high sides and add the bread crumbs. Stir until the bread crumbs are a light golden color, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 a garlic clove and cook 1-2 minutes longer until the garlic is a light golden color and the bread crumbs are crisp. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl or plate and wipe out the skillet.
The kale leaves should be roughly chopped and the stems diced. Add the pasta to the boiling water while you finish the sauce. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter in the same sauté pan used for the bread crumbs over medium low heat. Add the anchovy fillets, reserved 1/2 clove garlic and kale stems. Cook five minutes (or until the pasta is done) breaking up the anchovy fillets. When the pasta is al dente, transfer the noodles to the pan with a claw-type ladle (tongs work as well). Lower the heat on the pasta water to the slightest simmer and then drop two eggs into the water. Set a timer for 4-5 minutes, depending on how you like your yolk. Add the kale leaves and parmesan to the pasta and sauce. Cook until the kale leaves are slightly wilted, 1-2 minutes and all the flavors have melded. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon.
Twirl pasta on to a plate, top with the poached egg and a handful of breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairing: A Sauvignon Blanc is the obvious choice, but try a Muscadet if you want something a little different.