Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bow-tie pasta with fried eggs and cheese

I love this dish for its simplicity.
When I first moved into my new home, I had two cookbooks to my name and I loved them to bits. That was just over a year ago. Now, I have maybe about 40 cookbooks sitting smugly on my shelves. My acquisitions have been quite deliberate. I generally only buy cookbooks that came recommended on reputable food blogs, and even then I'd pore over the reviews on Amazon before clicking the buy button.
I've never been drawn to this book - somehow it fell through the cracks. None of the bloggers I read mention this book. For me, the internet silence was deafening. I wasn't sure whether this book was worth it. I took the plunge though when a colleague of mine, a very good cook, had high praises of Jacques, and in fact attributed his good cooking skills to Jacques. Wow, that was inspiring, I thought and so I clicked buy.

Unfortunately, when the book arrived, I felt rather disappointed and uninspired. You see, the basic principle of the book is that food needn't be complicated. It can be fast, uncomplicated and still taste really good. I wasn't convinced. So the book sat on my shelves for the longest time.

I don't know why but I felt compelled to pick up the book recently. Immediately, I was captivated by the photo of an egg with a runny centre on top of a pile of pasta.

And so, the bow-tie pasta with fried eggs and cheese came into the picture. I really love the simplicity of this dish. It was very easy to prepare, and my trip to the supermarket was only for one ingredient, cheese. If I were to do this again, I'd do two eggs as recommended by Jacques Pepin. Two eggs would be just right.

Bow-tie Pasta with fried eggs and cheese
Adapted from Fast Food My Way, Jacques Pepin

Serves 2

Because of the simplicity of the dish, use the best possible olive oil, salt, pepper and Gruyere cheese.

6 oz bow-tie pasta
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced fresh chives (I used spring onions, since I had that sitting in my fridge)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp unsalted butter (I used cooking oil)
2 large eggs
3.5 oz grated Swiss cheese (I used Gruyere)

Cook the pasta and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Combine olive oil, chives, salt, pepper and cooking water in a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss well. Plate the pasta and sprinkle on a heaping spoonful of cheese. Cook the eggs, covered over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Place eggs on top of the pasta and add more cheese. Serve immediately.

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