Johanne Killeen & George Germon
Al Forno Restaurant, Providence RI

Pappardelle with Poached Egg and Caviar

Yield: 6 as a first course

"There's nothing more compelling then little black fish eggs that burst in your mouth."

  • 10 ounces imported dried pappardelle
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 6 heaping tablespoons Beluga, Osetra, or Sevruga caviar

To cook the pasta, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. To poach the eggs, fill a wide saute pan with straight sides with water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add 3 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the large pot and drop in the pappardelle. Stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking. When the pasta is al dente (soft but with some resistance left) drain it into a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the empty pot and toss with 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, the butter, and grated cheese. The butter mixed with the cooking water should create an emulsion the consistency of heavy cream coating the pasta ribbons. If it seems too dry, add a few more tablespoons of the cooking water and toss again.

While the pasta is cooking, poach the eggs by cracking them, one by one, into a saucer and gently sliding them into the simmering water in the saute pan. Poach the eggs just until the whites have solidified but the yolks are still soft and runny. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked eggs to a warmed plate.

Divide the pappardelle among 6 warmed serving bowls, top each portion with a poached egg and heaping teaspoon of caviar, and serve right away.