By Jessica Roy After a trip to my favorite farm store, I checked the fridge and realized I had a ton of fresh greens to use. Also in the fridge were some fantastic farm fresh eggs and, of course, garlic and parmesan cheese that I always keep stocked. The wheels started turning, so I turned around to check my pantry cabinet and, lo and behold, was a beautiful box of just linguini beckoning to be cooked.
Decision made: pesto pasta for dinner, with a poached egg for some creamy added saucy goodness.
Arugula Pesto Linguini with Poached Egg
3 cups fresh arugula
10-12 leaves fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. pecans
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lemon, squeezed for juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lb. fresh or dried linguini pasta
Salt and pepper, as needed
Add the garlic cloves and pecans to the bowl of a food processer, and pulse lightly until they are coarsely chopped. Add the arugula greens and basil leaves to the food processor bowl along with the parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Continue to pulse until greens are roughly chopped.
Next, turn the food processor on, and stream in the olive oil until the mixture is blended into the texture of a thick paste. Taste, and season additionally as desired with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta according to package directions (in salted boiling water, 8-10 minutes for dried pasta to al dente,", or 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta).
Meanwhile, poach the eggs. Fill a small saucepan 3/4 full with water, and bring to a boil. When the water boils, reduce the heat until the water calms down to just below a simmer. There should be subtle action or movement happening in the water around the sides of the pan. If you have a digital kitchen thermometer, the water temperature should hover in the range of 165-180 degrees F.
Working one egg at a time, crack the egg into a separate small cup or ramekin, and then gently pour the egg into the hot water. Swirl the water with the handle of a wooden spoon so that the egg does not stick to the bottom. Cook the egg to your desired doneness -- about 4 minutes should produce a runny encapsulated yolk in a tender set white.
Remove the poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 eggs.
Combine the pesto and half of the reserved hot pasta water in a large mixing bowl, and stir until a creamy sauce has formed. If the sauce is too thick, stir in more water 1 Tbs. at a time. Add the cooked pasta, and toss until all linguini is coated in sauce.
To serve, divide the pasta evenly among 4 plates. Top each pasta plate with a poached egg, and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper and additional parmesan cheese as desired.
Jessica Roy is a specialty chef and caterer, food writer and chef instructor, and owner of Shiso Kitchen in Somerville, where she teaches classes. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/yourpersonalchef.