Here's a delicious meal that you can whip up in less than 45 minutes and you may even have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry! It was inspired by Put an Egg On It, by Lara Ferroni, a book that I found by chance while shopping recently. The photo of this egg dish on the cover had me drooling!
Are you as happy as I am that eggs are no longer shunned as a food that was unhealthy and should be avoided? Actually, they are quite fashionable now so you need to get on trend! Hopefully, they aren't so 'last year' yet :)
My version of the recipe (you can find the original recipe here), starts with cooked capellini pasta, which is mixed together with some cream (feel free to substitute fat-free or light cream), grated Sartori Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. This will form the 'nest'.
Getting that perfectly cooked, soft and slightly runny egg was the hardest part and it took a couple of attempts to get it right. All ovens are different so times may vary for you. The best test is to lightly touch the top of the egg with your finger when you see the egg white has turned white. If the yolk still feels slightly 'jiggly' inside then it's done. Remember, it will keep cooking after you remove it from the oven. If your eggs turn out too well done, you can always whip up a little extra cream sauce and drizzle it over the top as a dressing.
A truly delicious meal for brunch, lunch or dinner!
Eggs Baked in Creamy Pasta Nests
Makes 4 using 1 cup-sized ramekins
(You could also use a 1 quart pyrex dish and make evenly-spaced wells for all four eggs.)
Butter for greasing ramekins
1/2 pound (1/2 box) of capellini pasta or regular spaghetti
4 large eggs
4 cups of fresh arugula, or greens of your choice
For the cream sauce:
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half or light cream can be substituted)
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Sartori Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly butter ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream, 1/2 cup of grated cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente and drain, reserving a small ladle-full of the pasta cooking water.
Place the cooked pasta into the cream mixture and swirl with tongs to coat well. Add a little of the pasta water, if necessary. Let the pasta remain in the sauce for a few minutes.
Remove about one-fourth of the pasta and and place it in one of the ramekins, swirling as you lay it down. With the tongs, or your fingers, spread the pasta to the outside leaving an indentation in the middle for the egg. Repeat filling the rest of the ramekins. If you still have some cream in the bowl, pour it over each of the pasta nests, otherwise, add a teaspoon or so of cream to the top off each nest.
Bake the nests until the tops are golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and carefully, crack an egg into a small cup, and then pour into the center of each nest. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake the eggs for 5 minutes, or until the whites have set. (Alternately, you may put the egg into the nest before baking the nest which will result in a softer, creamier pasta. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400F.)
Let the nests cool for 5 minutes to firm up, then run a knife around the outside of the ramekin and gently remove it. Place on a bed of greens for serving. Garnish with another grind or two of fresh pepper and serve. Delicious!
Inspired by this recipe.