Summer doesn’t officially start until June 22nd. That is silly because It feels like summer now. It is humid. We have a rickety fan in the window so that we can deny it is time to haul the air conditioner up from the basement. Weird half mosquitos-half flies found their way into our bedroom.
But I’ve become close with two old friends though: fried eggs and pasta. My summer best friends.
This recipe for fried eggs + pasta is inspired by a recipe in reliable cookbook in my collection: Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. The recipes here are bare bones and organized only by season. No measurements are even given, just general instructions that work with for time pressed but discerning cook. Pasta with fried eggs stuck out immediately as a spring recipe well suited to become a summer dish too.
The process is second nature now that I’ve made the dish a few times: Boil pasta in salted water. Right before the pasta is ready quickly fry eggs just until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. Toss the egg on the pasta with a dash of pasta cooking liquid and generous amounts of grated Parmesan cheese, cutting the fried egg with a knife and fork so that it is mixed into the pasta. Salt and pepper finish it off.
I decided to add peppery arugula and lemon juice to add some color and fresh flavor. The result is a refreshing take on pasta without tomatoes, lots of garlic, or olive oil. The lemon, arugula, the richness of the yolk melding with the Parmesan is all pasta really needs in the summer in my opinion.
I’m providing approximate ingredients to serve four. Realistically, I make this dish for one or two most of the time, just feeling out the ingredients as I go. So in the spirit of Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express take this recipe as a guide. To make for one just scale back to 1-2 eggs and using less of everything else.
Pasta with Fried Eggs and Arugula
Adapted from Kitchen Express
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2-3 cups arugula
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil pasta in salted water.
2. Right before the pasta is ready, quickly fry the eggs until the whites are set but the egg yolks are still runny. Set aside.
3. Drain pasta reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Toss the eggs into the pasta. Cover with Parmesan and cooking liquid. Cut the egg, releasing the runny yolk, with a fork and knife. The eggs with be evenly distributed in the pasta and the yolk will make a sauce of sorts.
4. Toss in arugula and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.