Bucatini with Guanciale, Spinach, Toasted Walnut Crumbs and Poached Egg

By Marge Perry & David Bonom

  • Yield:

    4-6 Servings


1 pound bucatini pasta
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt, divided
7 ounces guanciale or pancetta, diced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces baby spinach
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4-6 large eggs


  1. Bring an wide stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions; drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. In the same pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; transfer to a bowl and reserve.
  3. Wipe out pot with a paper towel and return to the stove. Add the guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and peas and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved guanciale and cook 2 minutes. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup cooking liquid and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; cook, tossing, until liquid thickens and pasta is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in, 3/4 of the breadcrumb mixture, basil and cheese. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 2-inches of water to a bare simmer in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Working one at a time, break an egg into a small cup and gently pour into the water; repeat. Cook eggs, occasionally spooning hot water over the top of each, until the whites are firm and the yolks are creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lift the eggs out, one at a time, with a slotted spoon and dab the bottom with a dry paper towel to remove excess water. Place each egg on top of a plate of pasta. Serve immediately.