This recipe is quickly becoming one of our favorites, a sort of go-to for a quick meal. There is flat out something magical about pesto, the uber Italian sauce that goes so perfectly with pasta. I often make batches of pesto and keep some in the fridge or freezer, and I actively look for ways to incorporate it into meals OTHER than pasta. It's great swirled into soups and as a spread, but a personal favorite is pairing pesto with egg. Who'd-a-thunk? You may be as surprised as we were by the awesomeness of this combination.
It was a busy working day and we wanted something quick for dinner, something really easy to prepare, and I thought, pesto? We always have a productive basil plant this time of year. And peppers, of course. How about with soft boiled eggs? Patty's eyes lit up and the rest is history. I've made a version of this recipe several times now and it keeps getting better and better. The yolks drip out and ooze all over the pasta, coating the noodles for the most perfect bite. I have to be careful not to overdo it or we might get a bit of pesto burnout!
For the pesto, feel free to use your own traditional pesto recipe, though for this one I used almonds with grated Manchego cheese and included roasted Pimento de Padron peppers along with roasted garlic. Similar flavors, though it is nice to vary up the ingredients when making pesto. I also used less oil than you might normally use. I enjoy a thicker pesto, as you can see below.
Ingredients for our Almond-Manchego-Pepper Pesto Sauce
Almond-Manchego-Pepper Pesto Sauce
Pesto Pasta with Soft Boiled Egg
- Pasta for 4 – I used rigatoni noodles
- 2 Pimento de Padron peppers (You can use other peppers, like jalapenos or serranos)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup almonds, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup shredded Manchego cheese
- ½ cup olive oil, or more as desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 eggs
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and set them onto a lightly oiled baking sheet along with the garlic cloves. Dash it all with a bit more oil.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until the pepper skins are nicely charred. Remove from heat, cool slightly and peel. Add to a food processor.
- Squeeze garlic from their skins and into the food processor they go.
- Add basil, almonds, cheese and oil. Process to form your thick pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Boil the pasta to aldente, drain, and toss with the pesto.
- While pasta is cooking, boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Cool and peel. This is a great soft boil and will allow the yolks to be fairly runny, exactly what you want here.
- Divide the pasta among serving bowls. Slice the eggs in half and top the pasta.