A “Sauce” of Roasted peppers, Fried eggs, and Bread crumbs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

The sauce here happens as the ingredients are mixed. The toasted bread crumb topping is often used in Italy to dress up simple pasta dishes. These are also delicious sprinkled on simply cooked vegetables and fish.


  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 cup coarse dry bread crumbs (I like Japanese-style panko)
  3. 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, either fresh or poached
  4. ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
  5. ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  6. 2 large red bell peppers
  7. 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  8. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1 pound dried pasta (shape of your choice, such as bow-ties or radiatore)
  11. 4 large eggs


Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. As soon as the foam begins to disappear, stir in the bread crumbs. Lower the heat slightly and cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs begin to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute more or until the crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the heat, cool, and stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Set aside. (The crumbs can be made a day or two ahead; store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Wait to add the parsley until serving time.)

Char or roast the peppers, then peel, seed, and chop into ¼-inch dice. Be sure to catch all the juices and add to the chopped peppers in a bowl. Stir in the capers, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Cook the pasta in at least 6 quarts of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and gently fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Season well with salt and pepper.

Set aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Divide the hot pasta among 4 warm pasta bowls and top with the red pepper mixture. Place a hot egg on top of each serving and then sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Serve immediately, instructing eaters to toss the mixture with 2 forks, gently breaking up the egg whites and letting the yolks act as a sauce. Add a little of the reserved hot pasta water if the mixture needs thinning. Enjoy immediately, passing and adding a little more cheese and pepper, if desired.