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 a spiral noodle extricated using a bronze die so it has a firm grip and superb texture. 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 feisty ‘nduja lurking in my fridge waiting for its moment. Firey and rich, a Calabrian 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. 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.
Serves one hungry person – takes 15 minutes – prepare to make more immediately after.
- 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