Bucatini Aglio e Olio + Salt Cured Egg Yolks
This recipe is all about showcasing individual flavors and really simple ingredients. In the question of which came first, the bucatini or the egg? The egg came first. I found a recipe (or science project?) for salt cured egg yolks and was fascinated. It takes a long time to make the egg yolks, but it’s almost all hands-off. These kind of cooking experiments make me feel like a mad scientist.
When you want to showcase a new flavor like the egg yolks, I think it’s best to serve it over something really simple. Bucatini is my favorite pasta shape, and since I always have a stockpile of boxes, it was a good excuse to cook it.
Aglio e Olio just means “garlic and olive oil.” You can taste each individual flavor of this dish. It feels very earthy and very authentic– good ingredients, good flavors.
Making the eggs was a pretty cool experiment. The salt slowly draws out all the moisture, so when you remove the yolks on the 4th day, the salt has taken on a strange new consistency. You need to try this.
Bucatini Aglio e Olio
Total Time: under 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
½ pound of bucatini
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic (or 4 small), thinly sliced
2/3 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
½ cup freshly chopped parsley
Freshly cracked pepper
Freshly grated salt cured egg yolks (technique follows)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.
- Add the bucatini, and cook until al dente, about 9-10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, and set aside.
- Put the empty pot back on the stove, and add the olive oil.
- When you can smell the olive oil, add the sliced garlic. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from heat, and add the pasta, asiago cheese, parsley, and cracked pepper.
- Use tongs to toss the pasta together.
- Top with freshly grated cured egg yolks.
Cured Egg Yolks
(method found at Bon Appetit)
Total Time: 4 days plus 3 hours
Makes: 8 egg yolks
Difficulty Level: Easy (patience level must be high)
3 ½ cups kosher salt
2 ½ cups white sugar
8 extra large egg yolks
Nonstick cooking spray
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the kosher salt and white sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the mixture evenly into a 9×13 casserole dish (I used a large clear Pyrex).
- Create 8 yolk-sized divots in the salt/sugar mixture.
- Separate the eggs (you could save the whites for this or this).
- Very carefully place each yolk into its own divot.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and keep refrigerated for 4 days.
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible (mine is 170 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Place a baking rack on a half sheet pan.
- Spray the baking rack thoroughly with nonstick spray.
- As you remove the egg yolks from the salt/sugar, gently dust as much off as you can.
- Place each yolk on the rack.
- Cook the cured egg yolks on the lowest temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven, and let them come to room temperature.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.