Friday, October 1, 2010

PASTA POST! Brown Butter Pasta with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs

Welcome to a new feature on There's a Newf in My Soup! PASTA POST!  Pasta is just one of those things I need in my life.  We frequent our favorite Italian restaurant on a regular basis, but I have several cookbooks with many pasta dishes I've yet to try, and I often come across a recipe in one of my cooking magazines that calls to me. I plan to try a couple new pasta recipes each month, and share with you the ones we find blog-worthy. For my first Pasta Post, this recipe spoke to me.


This simple and deeply satisfying pasta is from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef-owner of Prune in New York City. It is featured in her article, Open House, the hard-won pleasures of Sunday lunch, in the October 2010 issue of Saveur. Gabriella fondly reminisces about traditional Sunday lunches at her Italian mother-in-law's apartment in Rome, inspiring her to start the tradition for her own family and friends in New York. Gabriella chose this fresh pasta as one of the courses for her inaugural Sunday luncheon.

Brown Butter Pasta with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs
From Saveur, No. 132
Serves 4

Kosher salt, to taste
8 oz. fresh pasta, such as fettuccine or tagliatelle
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (see Note below)
3⁄4 cup pine nuts
4 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan 

Grated nutmeg, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl; drain pasta, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta cooking water, and set aside.

2.  Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pine nuts to a bowl.

3. Working in two batches, crack eggs into butter and cook, spooning butter over yolks, until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer eggs to a plate and keep warm.

4. Add pasta and half the pine nuts to skillet and toss until hot. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

5. To serve, divide pasta between 4 serving plates and top each serving with a fried egg. Sprinkle with remaining pine nuts, Parmesan, and nutmeg.

Newf Notes: Although you can use dried pasta, fresh pasta provides a more delicate texture with the silkiness of the egg yolk. The butter soaks up a nice nutty flavor while you saute the pine nuts. Be sure to use freshly grated Parmesan and nutmeg, and give the pepper mill a few good turns over the top. Two sticks of butter seemed excessive to me for 8 oz. of pasta, so I reduced it by half.  The two of us enjoyed this as a weeknight dinner entree, so I adapted the recipe slightly. I still used 8 oz. of pasta, but 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup pine nuts, and two eggs. We absolutely love Tyler's Ultimate Carbonara, but this is a bit less fattening without the bacon and cream, and equally gratifying...ok, it's really close!



Joanne said...

Fresh pasta can really make a meal. I love the sound of this dish...such simple flavors, but such a high quality dish!

Chocolate Shavings said...

Sounds like the perfect pasta dish to me!

Anonymous said...

Please come to Italy at least one time in your in Italy such a dish would be an heresy! ;)

Kim said...

Denise, it looks divine! You can't go wrong with fresh pasta. Beautiful autumn meal. :o)


Anonymous said...

How funny.. I was scouting pasta photos when I found your blog. It just so happens I've been DYING to make that pasta ever since I got that issue of Savior in the mail. It looks just as delish as Danielle's. Thanks for the inspiration. :)