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Fried Egg, Red Pepper, Garlic, and Herb Topping for Pasta
This perfectly simple preparation makes one of our favorite pasta dishes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 large eggs (preferably from free-range chicken)
coarse salt to taste
crushed hot red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional as an accompaniment
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or sage

Directions:
1. While the pasta for this dish is cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, sunny-side up, basting with a spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes without turning, or until the eggs are just done (the yolks must remain runny). Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle eggs with coarse salt and hot red pepper flakes.
2. You must time this dish so that the pasta is ready as soon as the eggs are done. Place the pasta on a serving platter and toss with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, additional red pepper flakes, and parsley. Pour the contents of the egg pan, including the oil, butter, and garlic, onto the pasta. Garnish pasta and eggs with oregano or sage and serve immediately. Pass the additional Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

This perfectly simple preparation makes one of our favorite pasta dishes. You just cook up some fried eggs in flavored butter and oil, then pour the results over a platter of pasta that has been tossed with cheese. Divide carefully and serve. We love this topping on thick, long, dried pasta like perciatelli—but find it works equally well on 2-inch squares of fresh pasta. Quality ingredients are always important in a dish as simple as this one. Dean & DeLuca carries eggs from free-range chickens—use those if you can. Makes enough for 1 pound of pasta