Spaghetti With Fried Eggs (and tonight, asparagus)

People are often surprised by the fact that I eat quite simply when I don’t have other people to cook for. Tonight is a prime example of one of my newest favorites–Mark Bittman does a column and blog for the New York Times, back in March he posted the following recipe, which I’ve done scaled down versions of a few times. Tonight per a recent suggestion in his blog I added a bit of asparagus.

Spaghetti With Fried Eggs

Yield 2 or 3 servings
Time 20 minutes
Adapted from Arthur Schwartz.

In this dish, sometimes known as ”poor man’s spaghetti,” you fry a couple of eggs in the olive oil after removing the garlic, which is not browned but ”blonded” (”imbiondito”), cooked lightly in good olive oil and then removed from it. Tossed with the pasta, the eggs and oil create a creamy, delicious sauce.

1/2 pound thin spaghetti
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or lard
2 large cloves garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
4 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, optional

1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Start the sauce in the next step, and start cooking the pasta when the water boils.

2. Combine garlic and 4 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, pressing it into the oil occasionally to release its flavor; it should barely color on both sides. Remove the garlic, and add the remaining oil.

3. Fry the eggs gently in the oil, until the whites are just about set and the yolks still quite runny. Drain the pasta, and toss with the eggs and oil, breaking up the whites as you do. (The eggs will finish cooking in the heat of the pasta.) Season to taste, and serve immediately, with cheese if you like.

Also, Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” is one of my favorite cookbooks for straightforward, tasty food. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a cookbook that can cover the breadth of cooking technique and method without making things overly complicated.