One of the earliest food memories I can recall involves waiting for my older siblings to get home from ski lessons on Sunday evenings. I must have been about five at the time and I remember watching The Patty Duke Show (if you’re old enough, you’ll recollect those “identical cousins”) after everyone arrived home. We’d have a very simple supper in front of the television since we ate our big meal, usually a roast, after church, during the day. My mom would give me a warm poached egg with buttered toast, which today seems like one of the best meals I can think of. Wouldn’t you know it, I still have a thing for poached eggs? I absolutely love them—by themselves, in Eggs Benedict, on salads and on top of pasta. Speaking of that, here’s a recipe, I think originally from Gourmet Magazine and slightly altered by me, that would make a smashing Sunday evening dinner.
Peppery Pasta Carbonara with Poached Egg
4 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ to ¾ pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
⅔ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 large eggs
Cook bacon in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a 4-quart saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve ⅓ cup cooking water, then transfer spaghetti with tongs to a small bowl, shaking off excess water, and keep pan of water simmering.
Pour off all but 4 teaspoons bacon fat from skillet, then whisk butter into fat in skillet over medium heat. Add spaghetti, reserved cooking water, cheese and a ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and almost completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bacon and 2 tablespoons parsley and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Break egg into a cup and gently slide into water; repeat with second egg. Poach at a bare simmer until the eggs have a firm white with a runny yolk, 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve pasta topped with eggs (transfer using a slotted spoon). Sprinkle with remaining parsley and additional cheese. Serves 2