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The food inspired by hunger, a lack of time and what is available is often the best. Sometimes that is how I come up with my most interesting recipes. Like today.

There is something about a crispy egg with a runny yolk. And what is the point of a runny yolk if you don’t have something gorgeous to drag through it? Something that will grab on to it and greedily try and entice some of that yolk and pull is with it as it is dragged through. The crispy egg was the first thing I craved as I was at my desk this morning.

Pasta. Good pasta. In this case fusillo, a spiral noodle extricated using a bronze die so it has a firm grip and superb texture. It has great texture when cooked al dente and I just know that the bends in it will show that egg yolk who is boss, but what to have with the pasta?

I thought herbs, and contemplated sage. Something fragrant and light. But then I remembered the fiesty ‘nduja lurking in my fridge waiting for its moment. Firey and rich, a Calabrrian spreadable sausage made with pork, hot Calabrian chillies and lard. So good. And perfect for this dish. ‘Nduja makes an instant sauce, is wonderful to boost a tomato sauce, and is perfect just on bread, or fried with some seafood like scallops or prawns.

This is easy and speedy and the best reward for 15 minutes work. Make it and enjoy it. And be prepared to make more immediately after.

Note: feel free to substitute spaghetti or linguine for the fusillo. I used Iberico lard as a cooking fat because I had it and I love it, I encourage you to seek it out. But also feel free to substitute with any other fat (butter, oil). Lard is misunderstood and is not unhealthy when used in small amounts. It is a real food, it isn’t processed, and it is a wonderful base oil for cooking. The best savoury pastries are made with lard too. If you can’t find ‘nduja (you should be able to source it online), substitute with chorizo, and chop it small.

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Other ‘nduja recipes:

Potato & Tomato Hash with an Egg & ‘Nduja Onions
‘Nduja Ragu with Eggs for a Perfect Brunch 
Pimp My Piri Piri Poussin
Naughty But Nice ‘Nduja Devilled Eggs
Love at First Sight: My Gorgeous ‘Nduja Pig

Recipe: Fusillo with ‘Nduja, Oregano and a Crispy Egg

serves one hungry person
takes 15 minutes
prepare to make more immediately after

Ingredients

100g fusillo pasta (or spaghetti / linguine)
75g ‘nduja
1 tsp dried oregano leaves (Italian or Greek wild oregano are best)
sea salt
one good egg
some light oil or – do it! – Iberico lard or normal pork lard

Method

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tsp of oil or lard and add the ‘nduja and oregano. Cook until melted down and fluid, and reduce the heat to the lowest.
When the pasta is almost al dente with just a couple of minutes to go, heat 1 tablespoon of oil or lard in a frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, crack the egg into it, and step back as it may splatter. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the egg and leave to cook.
When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the ‘nduja. When the egg white is set and crisp and the yolk is still runny serve it on top of the pasta.
Eat immediately and enjoy every bite. So good, right?!


Photography: Louise Hagger for The Guardian

For 4 more new Mexican recipes from me, head over to The Guardian to see some recipes that I developed for their Old El Paso Restaurante feature. Frijoles (Mexican beans), Elotes (the best cheesy corn on the cob), Spicy Slaw & a Chorizo, Red Pepper and Kale Quesadilla. Enjoy! 

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Niamh

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