Eggs Baked in Creamy Pasta Nests

Serves 2

Makes 4 using 1 cup-sized ramekins (You may also use a 1 quart pyrex dish and make evenly-spaced wells for all four eggs.)

Butter for greasing ramekins
1/2 pound capellini pasta or regular spaghetti
4 large eggs
4 cups fresh arugula, or greens of your choice

For the cream sauce:
1/2 cup heavy cream (half & half or light cream can be substituted)
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Sartori Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly butter ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream, 1/2 cup of grated cheese, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente and drain, reserving a small ladle-full of the pasta cooking water.

Place the cooked pasta into the cream mixture and swirl with tongs to coat well. Add a little of the pasta water, if necessary. Let the pasta remain in the sauce for a few minutes.

Remove about one-fourth of the pasta and and place it in one of the ramekins, swirling as you lay it down. With the tongs, or your fingers, spread the pasta to the outside leaving an indentation in the middle for the egg. Repeat filling the rest of the ramekins. If you still have some cream in the bowl, pour it over each of the pasta nests, otherwise, add a teaspoon or so of cream to the top off each nest.

Bake the nests until the tops are golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and carefully, crack an egg into a small cup, and then pour into the center of each nest. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake the eggs for about 5 minutes, or until the whites have set. Test by pressing on the top of the yolk - you want to make sure the egg is still slightly 'jiggly' as it will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. 

Let the nests cool for 5 minutes to firm up, then run a knife around the outside of the ramekin and gently remove it. Place on a bed of greens for serving. Garnish with another grind or two of fresh pepper and serve. Delicious!

Inspiration from this recipe.