Truth be told, I made this penne pasta with pork belly and poached egg when I didn’t know what to make. I felt like pasta and opened the fridge to see what I had, and this is the result. Living in Ukraine I pretty much always have pork belly on hand, as well as eggs. Pasta is a staple food, so all I had to decide what to create was the sauce.
The sauce for this penne pasta with pork belly is a simple light tomato and shallot sauce that was cooked in some pork belly pieces. I use shallots in almost every sauce because I find they bring such a more delicate flavor than using onions. That isn’t to disparage sauces that are onion based, I just like using shallots for their lightness.
Use Some Pork Belly In The Sauce, And Some For The Presentation
For the sauce I started by sauteeing some of the chopped up pork belly in a little olive oil. Don’t chop up all your pork belly, as you can see in the pictures I still kept a large piece to grill at the end for presentation.
After the pork belly is cooked I toss in the chopped tomatoes and shallots along with some seasonings. I also drop in a couple tablespoons of butter, because what light dressing isn’t better with more fat. As this is simmering down I drop my dry penne pasta into a pot of salted, boiling water. The pasta takes just 7 minutes to boil to al dente, which is the perfect amount of time to reduce the sauce. I just stir here with a wooden spoon while the penne pasta is boiling.
When the pasta is ready, reserve a half cup of starchy salty water, strain the pasta, and add it to the sauce. Give everything a good toss and add some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and chopped green onion.
I decided to make a presentation of a slice of grilled pork belly and a poached egg on top of the pasta. For this, I removed the pasta from the pan, added some olive oil, and brought up to high heat. I salted and peppered a slice of pork belly and then dropped it in the hot oil. I sauteed the pork for about 2-3 minutes a side.
Finishing Up The Penne Pasta With Pork Belly And Poached Egg
Finally, plate the dish. In a bowl add the penne pasta with pork belly, top with the slice of seared pork belly, and then top with a poached egg. If you don’t know how to make a poached egg it is okay. Take a pot of water, bring it to a boil, add some vinegar. When it is at a boil, swirl the water, and drop an egg yolk right in the center. You need to boil it for about 2 minutes and then pull it out with a slotted spoon. Drop the egg right onto the top of the seared pork belly. This is the same way to make an egg for Eggs Benedict.
I garnished this penne pasta with pork belly and poached egg with three different kinds of sprouts (bean, pea, and radish) along with some paprika and chili flakes. Of course, I couldn’t leave you here without the money shot of breaking open a perfectly poached egg.
Penne Pasta With Pork Belly And Poached Egg
- 500 grams Pork Belly
- 500 grams Penne Pasta dry
- 2 Tomatoes chopped
- 2 Shallot chopped
- 2 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tsp Red Chili Flakes optional
- 2 tsp Paprika optional
- Sprouts mixed, for garnish
- Salt to taste
- 4 large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil decent quality
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated
- Take your pork belly and slice off 4 thick pieces, about 1-2 cm in thickness. Take the rest and chop it up into bite size pieces.
- In a skillet add the olive oil and when it reaches temperature add the chopped pork belly. Add some salt and cook. While this is happening fill a pot of water, add some salt, and bring to a boil.
- When the pork belly is cooked add in the tomatoes and shallot along with the pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and butter, and mix everything up. Also add the dry penne pasta to the boiling salted water. Let the shallot tomato sauce simmer for the length it takes to cook the pasta, in my case 7 minutes for al dente.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and strain the pot of pasta. Add all the penne to the pan and toss everything around. Move the pasta to a bowl and set aside. Add some more oil to the pan.
- Salt and pepper the slabs of pork belly you cut at the beginning. Add them to the hot pan and sear them on both sides, about 2 minutes a side.
- Put the penne pasta with pork belly in a bowl, and top with the seared slab of pork belly.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add some vinegar. Swirl the water and drop an egg right into the middle. Let the whites cook around the yolk (about two minutes) and then pull out the egg with a slotted spoon. Put the egg on top of the pork belly slice on the pasta.
- Add red chili flakes, paprika, sprouts, and some more parmigiano reggiano cheese and serve.
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