Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Egg central

When you live on a farm - even just an small chicken farm - there are days of surplus and days of want. We've just come out of a few weeks where the hens were being stingy with the egg production. Since the storm, more probably just since the consistent warm weather, we're back in business and getting a dozen per day.

When 6:15 rolled around, I started to hear the cries of "I'm hungry". Typically I have things sizzling or boiling by then, but this mid-afternoon I'd allowed myself 30-45 minutes of resting on the couch -- a rare occurrence around here.

I was looking for something quick and easy and vaguely remembered a recipe that I had seen on Saveur: spaghetti with browned butter and fried eggs. I don't know if this actually something eaten in Italy, but the concept is totally Italian- use what you have in excess. We have eggs...

I boiled a pound of spaghetti and fried ten eggs in a mixture of olive oil and butter, being careful not to pop the egg yolks. I also did not flip the eggs because I really wanted to preserve the sultry goodness of the yolk. When the pasta was drained (and a little pasta water reserved), I tossed it with some of the brown butter and then slid the pan full of eggs on top of the platter. Topped with a generous handful of grated parmaggiano and freshly cracked black pepper, it was gorgeous. I served it in bowls partially full of baby spinach leaves. Unfortunately I only snapped a phone photo of one plate before the urchins started digging in.

It's the sort of dish that's painfully simple, yet elegant enough that it would appear on a menu.

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