One of the first blogs that really got me hooked onto reading about food, and inspired me to write about food, was Orangette. When I read Molly’s writing, I feel like I’m sitting right in her living room, sitting cross-legged on her sofa, listening to her stories. I fell in love with her heartfelt words, her honest photographs, and mostly, her delicious, never-fail recipes. Whenever I find myself in need of gastronomic inspiration, I browse her recipe index and pick whichever I’m in the mood for that day. She always has just the thing for me. Take this prosciutto pasta for instance. Since I laid eyes on it a couple of years ago, it has been my hubby and my go-to for the quickest, tastiest and most satisfying meal, anytime of the day.
Molly’s version is as close to perfection as it gets. But because I’m an egg-slut, I top my pasta with a gently-fried sunny-side up. It’s heavenly when the runny yolk gets mixed in with the Parmesan, prosciutto and noodles. My better half raised an eyebrow at first when he heard I was meddling with the good thing that we have loved for so long. But he gave it a go and since then, we haven’t stopped eating it my egg-topped way.
I don’t know what it is, but I consider it supremely romantic when the hubby and I sit side by side and have this with some dry white wine for lunch, just the two of us at the table. It is my idea of bliss, if I can just shut out the din of my screaming kids, fighting over the only toy that both of them must have at that very same moment. So I thought it might be more peaceful if I had them at the table, shovelling said pasta into their gobs instead. I made an extra portion for them the next time around, and the peace was only punctuated by my 19-month old daughter’s loud, demanding cries to be fed more pasta, fast. Now, that’s a noise I don’t mind hearing more of.
Pasta with Prosciutto, Parmesan and Egg
feeds three adults
adapted from Orangette
300g dried pasta (I used vermicelli, but you can substitute with any long pasta. I like De Cecco or Barilla brands.)
3 tbsp butter
75g prosciutto, thinly sliced
50g Parmesan, grated, plus more to serve
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a non-stick pan, gently fry eggs, sunny-side up in the extra-virgin olive oil. Be careful not to break the yolks. Set aside.
In a deep pot, boil pasta in salted water for one minute less than suggested cooking time.
Meanwhile, fry the prosciutto in the butter in the non-stick pan for a few minutes, until the meat turns a darker shade of brown, and your kitchen starts smelling really good.
Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of cooking water.
With the pan on low heat, toss the pasta in with prosciutto and butter, adding the pasta water slowly if the noodles look dry.
Working quickly, stir in the grated Parmesan, making sure the noodles are well-coated. Again, adding some pasta water if the mixture looks dry. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Dish onto plates and top with one fried egg per person to serve. Grate more Parmesan over if desired. Eat immediately.