When the weather closes in as damp as a grey mood, that’s when I know the only cure for bouncing along the bottom of the barrel is comfort food. And this is my remedy.
Well, it’s not really fried, and it needn’t be spaghetti. As you can see, this time I used tagliatelle noodles. Penne works, too.
There is no recipe, just method for this madness. You’ll need one egg, 1 garlic clove thinly sliced, a knob of butter and an equal amount of olive oil, a generous (to taste) sprinkle of parmesan cheese, a large pan of boiling water with a shocking amount of salted in it, and one portion of dried noodles. Capers scattered across the top is a nice touch, too.
Here’s what you do. Get the water going first, so fill the pan and bring it up to a boil. While you’re waiting for your watched pot to boil, slice the garlic clove into thin slivers. Plop a knob of butter and a glug of olive oil to a smallish frying pan (larger if you’re frying more than one egg). When the butter is melted, stir in the garlic and cook over low heat so it doesn’t brown.
Is the water boiling yet? If so, toss in your noodles, stir and cook as per instructions on the package.
About 3 minutes before the noodles are done, it’s time to start the egg. The egg is the most important part. The white should be wobbly set and the yolk fluid. If you overcook the egg, you’ll have garlic noodles with a fried egg. If you get it right, the egg will create a rich garlic sauce as you stir it into the noodles. So don’t overcook that egg!
So back to the frying pan. Push all the sautéed garlic into the centre of pan. Now crack your egg on top of the garlic, and fry the egg until the white is just set and the yolk is runny. When the egg is done, remove it to a dish and keep the oil in the frying pan.
Drain the pasta, retaining a bit of the water (should the sauce be too dry) and then return the pasta to the pan. Immediately pour over the hot butter/oil/garlic, stir and toss gently, add the egg and fold/toss it into the pasta until only small chunks of white and ribbons of yolk show. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese. Add pepper. Scatter capers.
And be comforted.