Spaghetti with Egg and Pangritata

Oh dear.  It’s not like I need another totally addicting pasta recipe, but it’s too late now.  There’s a new kid in town and I’m definitely making room.  Oh, man, is this some good stuff.

Of course, if you’ve hung around here very long, you know how much I love eggs.  On anything.  But the very idea of stirring some softly cooked eggs into hot pasta has some kind of powerful pull in my world.  Add a little garlic, pepper and this super delicious breadcrumb topping, and we’ve got something very special indeed.

Let’s talk about that breadcrumb topping.  Pangritata, it seems, has been used regularly in Italian homes through the years as a substitute for parmesan when perhaps it was not available or affordable.  But it has become a favored pasta topping in its own right, and fragrant with rosemary and lemon, is especially good on this creamy egg-y pasta.

And the beauty of this recipe for those of you with families to feed on a moment’s notice after a long workday is how easy it is to throw together. 

It comes together in minutes with ingredients that you’re sure to always have on hand.  We like that.  Here’s the recipe…

Spaghetti with Egg and Pangritata

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from Food52

As noted above, I found this recipe on the Food52 website and have switched up a couple of ingredients and adapted it for a whole pound of pasta.  I've made this several times now, and each time I get better at timing when to add the pasta to the skillet.  You really need to add it the minute that the egg whites are just barely cooked.  You don't want to let the yolks cook as they will cook when you add the hot pasta to the pan.  We love the flavors and the crunch of the pangritata topping, which is also great on top of fish and veggies.

Serves 4

For the Pangritata::
¼ cup olive oil
1 1/3 cups coarse breadcrumbs
1 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary
zest of two lemons

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the rosemary, and immediately remove from heat and allow to cool.
Mix in lemon zest and set aside.

Spaghetti and Eggs:
1 lb spaghetti
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 large eggs
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to directions on box. (I usually undercook the pasta by about a minute.)

Wipe out the skillet from the pangritata, add the olive oil and butter and melt together over medium heat.

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and immediately break the eggs into the skillet.

If need be, lower the heat a bit. You want the garlic to cook without burning and the egg whites to set, but the yolks to remain runny.

Drain the pasta well, reserving 1 c of the cooking liquid.

Add pasta back to the pot, pour over the eggs and all the fat from the skillet, add the parsley and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you do. If you prefer a wetter dish, you can add in some of the reserved cooking liquid.

Plate the pasta and eggs, season well with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the grated cheese and then top with the pangritata.

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