Meatless Monday Walnut-Breadcrumb Pasta with a Soft Egg

Maybe you could  put one of these perfectly soft-boiled eggs on just about anything and it would taste good, but I have to tell you that perched on top of this pasta, these eggs are nothing short of sublime.

To be honest, I haven’t had a soft-boiled egg since I was about 10 years old; my Mom used to make them for us for breakfast on a regular basis when we were little.  At some point she stopped making them, and I don’t think I ever made them for my kids, so it’s fair to say I haven’t had one for many, many years.  My loss.  Making these soft-boiled eggs has reminded me how much I love them, and here on this delectable pasta, I love them even more. 

What that perfectly soft-boiled egg does here is create a lovely egg yolk-y sauce which sort of mingles with the garlic-y walnut-breadcrumb topping and coats the pasta, creating such deliciousness with the little bits of creamy goat cheese.  Oh my ever lovin’ goodness.

From the moment I saw this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine until it was sitting on the plate in front of me was seriously about 3 hours.  I love making pasta, but if you’re not so inclined, just find some really good fresh pasta (in the refrigerated section at the store).  You are going to want fresh pasta here.

 It’s been over a week since we had this, and I will confess to you that I’ve thought about it every day since.   I can hardly wait until this pasta is wrapped around my fork again.

Walnut-Breadcrumb Pasta with a Soft Egg

Click here for a printable recipe

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Makes 4 servings*

4 large eggs

1 (2-ounce) piece French bread baguette, torn into small pieces

1/4 cup walnuts

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

16 ounces uncooked fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Recipe for fresh, homemade pasta

1. Bring 3 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add eggs to pan; boil 5 1/2 minutes. Drain. Plunge eggs into ice water, and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and peel.

2. Place bread in a food processor, process until finely ground. Add nuts to bread; pulse until finely ground. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add breadcrumb mixture, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to the breadcrumb mixture; toss to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and chives; toss to combine and add a little of the cooking water if needed to moisten the sauce. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 shallow bowls, and top each serving with 1 egg and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately.