Favourite Comfort Food: Fried Egg Spaghetti
This recipe makes one portion. It’s perfect food when you’re alone and there’s no one about to hear your slurping and low sighs of pleasure. And not unexpectedly, there’s a brief story behind this one.
I knew a guy who ate fried egg spaghetti six out of seven days a week. On the seventh day, he gave it a rest, and popped down the street to the local cafe to buy a huge bowl of “bottomless” (free refills) chilli for less than the price of a large coffee nowadays. That was the late 60s: it was a different time and there was a different perspective on life. It was also a time when the young smoked anything that would ignite, and everything tasted better for it. Fried egg spaghetti is still comforting and tastes just a good, even though I’m nearly tea-total and don’t smoke anything. This recipe is extremely adaptable to different herbs and endless added variations (bacon bits, prawns, smoked salmon …) Give it a go; you’ll be surprised!
The Crunchy Bread Stuff:
2 tablespoons olive oil (use the cheap stuff)
1/4 cup fresh (or stale) coarse breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (rosemary, chervil or oregano)
zest from half a lemon
1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté 5 mins until golden and crispy.
3. Add the herbs and lemon zest, stir, and then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
The Noodles and Eggs:
4 ounces spaghetti noodles (4-6oz or one portion)
1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped capers
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the noodles al dente (one minute less than instructions say).
2. Melt 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
3. Add the garlic, and immediately break the eggs into the skillet.
4. If the egg is frying too fast, lower the heat a bit. The garlic should fry without scorching, the egg whites just set but the yolks must remain runny.
5. When done, drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid. 6. Return the drained pasta to the pot, pour over the eggs and the butter from the skillet, toss in the chopped parsley and capers, grated Parmesan, and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you toss the noodles. Add some of the cooking liquid if the pasta is too dry.
7. Serve up in a large warm bowl, season with lots of cracked pepper, and sprinkle the crunchy bread stuff on top.