My friend Chris Laibe recently imparted me with some Confucius-grade wisdom: “Everything is better with a fried egg on it. Even a fried egg.” I quickly realized that this pearl had always been right under my nose — from the fancy NYC gastropub serving fried duck egg over cardoons, to the brasserie serving fried egg over a salad of frisee and lardons, to Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast. While I’m no Confucius, I can offer the following corollary: “Everything tastes better over spaghetti. Even a fried egg.” Of course, when it comes to food, the Italians have long seen the forest for the trees, and so it should be of little surprise that this delicious pairing predates any of us. It really does beg the immortal question of which came first, the spaghetti or the egg.
Yet another meal known a pasta alla povera (poor man’s pasta), this dish is about as simple, tasty, inexpensive, and easy as it gets.
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it until al dente. Drain it, retaining some of the cooking water and place it in a large serving bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet and fry the eggs sunny side up. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the eggs are almost done, add the cheese to the pasta and a bit of the retained cooking water. Mix thoroughly.
Divide the pasta into equal portions on the serving plates, and top each with an egg. Serve immediately.