Roasted Summer Vegetables with Tomatoes, Basil and Pasta

Zucchini or summer squash, sweet corn, bell peppers and red onion

I scooped up a piece of zucchini with my fork. “I feel like a lot has changed.”

Roo looked up from his plate. “What are you talking about?”

“I saw a child today; thirteen, maybe fifteen-”

“So you saw a teenager.”

“A child,” I reiterated, setting down my fork, “who was walking in front of me at Fenway and I could see her butt.  Hanging out of her shorts.”

“Like her pants were falling down?”

“Like they were so short, that I wanted to hug her and give her my yoga pants.”

“You do realize you sound about eighty five right now.”

I picked up my water glass and took a sip. “That’s kind of my point. I mean, when did I become so conservative?”

“You’re really asking me this.”

“I know! But I can’t remember caring about how short a girl’s shorts were when I was in my twenties. I don’t think I even noticed what children were wearing.”

“Well, we all change. It’s part of growing up.”

“I guess.” I said, fumbling with my napkin. “Like, when I was in college I didn’t eat carbs.”


“I know. This,” I said, tilting my pasta dish towards Roo, “is delicious. Why would I give that up?”

“But I thought you drank Natty Ice in school.”

“Correction, The Beast.”

“So you didn’t eat carbs, but you drank beer?”

“I know, totally logical, right?”

Roo laughed, “I am so glad we all change.”

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Baked Gnocchi Alla Puttanesca (Kinda)

Sometimes when I have to make a first impression I freak out.  Just a little.

In protest, I put off getting ready till the last minute.  And when I can’t any longer, I run around the apartment with such fervor you’d think it was on fire.  Hair thrown into a sumo bun, trying on clothes that never seem to fit me the way I want and wondering why I just don’t invest in spanx already.

I get wound up.  I start…to sweat.  Especially when I’m freaking out in the bathroom because the light is too dim to actually see my face to put makeup on.

“Stop it Lys.  Seriously, stop sweating.  STOP. IT.”

“Are you having a breakdown?” Roo calls out from the living room.  He’s already dressed, shoes on and car keys in hand.  He’s been ready for thirty minutes.


“Are you sure?”

“Talking to yourself while looking at yourself in the mirror stops underarm perspiration.”

“I don’t think it -”

“It’s a thing!”

Continue Reading for Recipe

Creamy Avocado Pasta in 15 Minutes!

It occurred to me last week that I’m turning 31 (welp) and I haven’t had a physical in years.  That, and my dentist’s office had officially reached stalker status, calling me every week to see if I could come by for my very overdue cleaning.  So, I made last Wednesday my “annual day.”  You know, minus that awkward lady appointment.

That afternoon I arrived at the dentist’s office, flossed and ready to be told that I had zero cavities.  Unfortunately, after an hour driving into the suburbs while chugging a venti latte, I had to go to the bathroom.  Like, I absolutely cannot hold it while you tell me to “rinse and spit,” kind of urgency.

I checked in with the receptionist and made my way to the back of the office.  When I opened the bathroom door, I found the dentist.

“Oh hey…”

Going to the bathroom.

Oh, NO!!!

I could have died.

Why didn’t I knock, you ask?

Well, why wasn’t the door locked, I ask.

But wait! It gets better.

Continue Reading for Recipe

Butternut Squash Pasta with Braised Kale

I’ve had two butternut squashes taking up shelf space in my kitchen for the past couple of days.  Thoughts of throwing them into another soup and maybe even a cake crossed my mind, as every time I went to make a cup of coffee, there they were.

One of my favorite after work dinners as of late has been pumpkin pasta, and when I made it again on Tuesday, I asked myself, why not a pasta dish with butternut squash?  They were both from the same vegetable family, and have a lovely mellow flavor with a hint of sweetness.  The pasta dish was also a way to use a winter squash variety as a main component, something that Roo insisted he disliked.  But the sneakiness paid off, and like a kleptomaniac, I was absolutely addicted to the idea of getting away with it.

Yes, he is so lucky to have all. of. this. (crazy.)

There are many ways to prep butternut squash, but I prefer roasting, as I can allow it to cook while I work on the rest of the meal.  Roasting also brings out a great flavor in the squash, as the sugars in it naturally caramelize at high temperatures.  Of course, Roo’s main complaint about squash is that it is too sweet, in a dish he believes should be savory.  While I knew roasting the butternut squash would bring out its natural sugars, balancing it out with something bright and acidic, like freshly squeezed lemon juice, was a just another trick I had up my sleeve.  I could not wait to plate up my little brainstorm for Roo and just smile, (for the sake of the relationship, never say I told you so.  Smiling though, totes acceptable.) eagerly waiting for him to tell me it was delicious.

As I’ve said in the past, I love the element of greens swirled in with a creamy pasta dish.  Braised kale isn’t the end all, as you could easily add roasted broccoli or even cauliflower to this and make it just as delicious.  The kale however, works quite well, as the liquid you cook it in can be used to thin the pasta sauce if needed.  However, if you are using a sturdy pasta like penne, then thinning out the sauce may not be necessary (I used spaghetti as that’s all I had).  Also, you may just like thick sauce!  As always, cooking is something I love that people can use as an expression of themselves.  All of our tastes are different, and it’s up to you to use your own senses of smell, taste and sight, to decide what you’d like the final meal to be like.

Pasta Sauce Adapted from Oh She Glows


Braised Kale Adapted, a little, from My Recipe


For the squash

One small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups uncooked)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pinch of fine sea salt

For the kale and sauce

2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

8 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons of red pepper flake (this is a bit of heat to be shared for both the kale and butternut squash pasta sauce, so if you’re sensitive to spice, start off slowly, with half a teaspoon)

For the sauce

Three quarters of a cup of cashews

1 cup of unsweetened unflavored almond milk (and extra if you’d prefer to thin out your sauce with this)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

4 – 6 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast

Half teaspoon of dijon mustard

Half teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning

Quarter teaspoon of ground tumeric (optional)

Pepper to taste

1 bunch of kale, leaves pulled off from stems and torn into easily edible pieces  (make sure to wash it well!)

One and a half to 2 cups of low sodium broth (I used homemade vegetable)

One box (about 12 ounces) of pasta (I would recommend something like a penne, something substantial to stand up to the thick sauce, ie not spaghetti…don’t make my mistake!)

Reserved liquid from braised kale


A medium sized mixing bowl (can hold about 4 cups)

A cookie sheet (line with parchment paper if you hate cleaning dishes)

A large saute pan

A spatula

A sharp knife

A food processor

A big pot

A colander

Place the oven rack to the middle position in your oven.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the chopped squash, olive oil and salt.  Toss (I used my hands) until the ingredients are well combined.  Place the tossed butternut squash onto your (lined) cookie sheet, and roast in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how hot/temperamental your oven is.  Check on it halfway though, flipping the squash to ensure both sides get browned.

Pour the olive oil into your large saute pan.  Place the pan on a burner over medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion, and stir into the olive oil so that all of it is well coated.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.

While your onions are cooking, throw your part of your pasta sauce together.  In a food processor, add the cashews and process until the nuts become a fine crumb (like corn meal).  Add the almond milk, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, mustard, italian seasonings, tumeric (if using), and pepper to taste.  Process the ingredients till smooth.  Set aside (in the food processor).

When the onions are lightly browned (oh no, did you forget the about the onions?), add the garlic and red pepper flake.  Stir until well combined.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about another two (until the garlic becomes lightly browned) to four minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add half of the caramelized onions, garlic and red pepper flake to the pasta sauce in the food processor.  Set the pan back on the burner, and give the pasta one or two pulses to mix the ingredients back together.

Now it’s time to add the kale and “let the magic happen” (I love the sound kale makes in a sizzling hot pan).  Add the kale in batches (ie only adding enough kale to form a single layer in the pan), tossing it around in the ingredients, covering it in the oil, onion, garlic goodness.  When all the kale has been incorporated (and wilted), add the broth.  The liquid should reach halfway up your greens.  Again, toss the kale in the pan so that it’s been splashed around by all that goodness in there.

When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to very low to keep the liquid at a simmer.  Cook the kale until it’s no longer bitter and tender.  The broth will be reduced to more than half.  When the kale is done, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the box’s directions.  During this time your squash should be ready.

Add the squash to your food processor and process until the sauce is smooth.  Taste.  Does it need more salt?  Pepper?  Adjust the seasonings to your liking.

This. Sauce. Will. Thicken.

So don’t fret dear reader, if it’s not super thick for you yet, just wait.  It’s going to happen.

When the pasta is ready, remove it from heat, drain and rinse with cold water.

No seriously, do this or else your sauce will break when you add the hot pasta to this.

Add the pasta back to the pot.  Add the sauce and kale to the pasta.  Mix.  Is your pasta sauce too thick?  Add either the liquid from the braised kale or almond milk to it.  Taste.  Do you need more seasonings?  Adjust accordingly.

If the pasta is too cold, you can warm it up in its pot on a burner over very low heat.

30 Minute Marinara Sauce: For The Busy College Student and The Tired-After-Work-Cook In Us All

There are some days when I come home from work, absolutely exhausted from the lab politics of “my grant is bigger than yours,” and “what do you mean you don’t have x when clearly you only have y?”, I don’t want to go from stepping off the bus, straight into the kitchen.  While it takes me on average of an hour to cook from pan to plate, most of America doesn’t have this luxury.  The majority of my friends are now are married, with children who require constant supervision no less, and they cannot just leave them to have some “alone time” in the kitchen.

I’ve also noticed that the yoga studio is more popular than ever with college students.  No longer are they flocking to the gym to the once over-popular spin class, but are now rolling out their mat next to me, as they too probably love the “everyone can do yoga” mantra, that got me there in the first place.  These same students I know, also don’t have the time after a full day of classes to spend an hour cooking dinner.  Exhausted, and just wanting to refuel their tired body and minds, they often turn to take-out.  I did.

This afternoon I came home, mind absolutely full from what our PI (head of the lab) told us in our weekly meeting, and just wanted some good ol’ comfort food.  Warm, hearty, and to make me feel that I really was home, bringing my mind back to the “family” that I love and out of the lab.

Plans of making a soup were out, as that would take an hour to make.  But I have been toying with the idea of making a 30 minute meal (please don’t sue me Rachael Ray for using your probably trademarked phrase) for a while now and figured the best place to start was a marinara sauce.

It all starts with a good base.  The elements of sweet, almost jammy, caramelized onions, garlic, and a bit of heat from red pepper flake, compliment the loads of roughly chopped baby bella mushrooms that are thrown in.  There’s just something magical about onions, mushrooms and garlic.  When they hit a hot pan, the rich, earthy and sweet aromas fill our entire apartment, and often cause Roo to get off the couch and into the kitchen to ask, “what are we having?”

But there is a secret.  Butter (like Earth Balance).

One to two tablespoons of it adds a creaminess that brings everything all together.  You’re not going to need cheese, and you may not even need real pasta (we love roasted spaghetti squash with this).  It’s all about the sauce.  And I hope you’ll feel that way too.

Serves Four People, With Leftovers


Two to three tablespoons of olive oil

Two to three medium onions, diced (it seems like a lot, but it really makes the sauce)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of red pepper flake (this gives substantial heat, if you just want a little bit, start with a quarter, and go up from there)

1 box (about 12 oz) of baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped, stems removed (I find their stems super woody, so I remove them)

1 large green pepper, diced

One jar of good marinara sauce (I use Newman’s Organic basil marinara sauce)

One to two tablespoons of butter (like Earth Balance)

Salt and pepper to taste


A very large saute pan (with tall sides) or a pot

A sharp knife

A spatula

Add the olive oil to your large saute pan.  Place on a burner over medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the diced onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become lightly browned.  Add the garlic and the red pepper flake.  Cook, stirring frequently, keeping an eye on the pan so that the garlic and red pepper flake do not burn.  When the onions become browned (versus lightly), add the mushrooms (this is around the ten minute marker from start).  It’s going to look like a lot of mushrooms, and you may question my sanity as to how many I made you put in there, but like the onions, they’ll cook down.  Add about a pinch of salt.  Stir the ingredients till evenly distributed in the pan.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they have cooked down and are tender (about seven minutes).  At this point it’ll be around 18 minutes into cooking.  Add the green peppers.  Stir till combined, getting all that hot oil/onion/mushroom flavor over the peppers.  Cook for about a minute.  Add the sauce, and you’ll probably be 20 minutes in.  Stir till combined.  Add the butter (like Earth balance).  Stir till combined.  Reduce the heat to very very low, so that the sauce is simmering (or burping, in my case, as I had a very veg-dense sauce).  Cook for about eight minutes.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Simmer for another two minutes.  Taste, and you should be done.

Time: 30 minutes, you can do it!

Pumpkin Pasta, Two Ways

Sometimes girlfriends have to be a little sneaky.

I’m not saying, “be a ho-ho behind his back,” kind of sneaky, but when it comes to boys and their “dislikes” of certain foods, I’m convinced that they don’t like it “just ‘cuz.”

First, there was cauliflower.  It was amongst the many on a list of veg that Roo told me about that he disliked.  He said it smelled like something Evil Monkey would leave for us under our bed.  While I can’t fault him (I am not a fan of it steamed either), after slicing it thinly, tossing it with olive oil and salt and pepper, then roasting it in the oven, he couldn’t help himself.  Caramelized bottoms, silky and creamy insides, the boy didn’t stand a chance.

There were also peas.  Peas that he insisted he absolutely hated because of the consistency, taste, and just the plain old look of them.  “Why should I put something in my mouth that looks like that?”  But after two distributions of peas from our CSA, I knew it was a sign to get Roo to like peas.  Pea pesto was the answer.  A good quality olive oil, garlic, and farm fresh peas whirred all together in a food processor, made the perfect accompaniment to shelled pasta.

But then there was squash.  I unfortunately had a giant swing-and-miss with it this month.

While the oven roasted acorn and butternut squash soup was probably one of my most favorite recipes I’ve made during VeganMoFo, it tasted, well, like squash.  It captured the squash in it’s best state: roasted, salted and folded with herbs.

He hated it.

Thankfully all my other squash-loving friends gladly took on the leftovers, but I was left feeling burned.  I had been dethroned as the ‘Queen of Sneak.’

I was sad that I didn’t get to see Roo, in typical fashion, nod his head and say, “Babe, this is really good,” while I would just smile and say nothing.  (For the sake of your relationship, say nothing.  Always.  Sitting across from them at the kitchen table while you have, “the church giggles,” though, totes acceptable.)  After two bites of the soup, he said “I’m sorry, I just can’t,” and proceeded to pile on the oven roasted cauliflower and broccoli I had made as a back-up, onto his plate.

So. Sad.

But, tonight, I’ve reclaimed my throne.  This pasta recipe can be tweaked so that it tastes like it’s been folded into a rich, creamy “cheese” sauce, or that it’s been taken straight out of a harvest festival, full of hay rides, auburn leaves, and crisp air.  All it takes is editing the amount of pumpkin puree.

The caramelized onions add a lovely luscious component (um hello, when do they not?), that completes this dish.  They’re sweet (but not “squash sweet” as Roo would say), almost jammy, and just bring so much flavor to the sauce.  I love that the pasta gets folded into something so incredibly smooth and not over-the-top rich.  And once it’s eaten with a side of braised kale, you’ll wonder why families don’t have the two together for dinner more often.  If there’s anything you need for a frosty night, but aren’t willing to acknowledge that winter is on it’s way (seriously, who wants to do that?), then this is what you need.

Adapted from Simply Stardust

Serves 4 Generously, With Leftovers


2 tablespoons of mild tasting olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter (like Earth Balance)

2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

1 cup of almond milk (or other unflavored, unsweetened non-dairy milk)

1 large onion, diced

6 (for more of a cheese-sauce quality) to 12 (for utter pumpkin mania) heaping spoonfuls (tablespoons) of pumpkin puree

Eighth of a teaspoon of nutmeg

13.25 ounces (a box, like Barilla) of your favorite pasta (in our case, it’s whole wheat penne)

Salt and pepper to taste


2 medium saute pans (or use one, put the caramelized onions into a small bowl to set aside, and clean out the saute pan to use for a second round)

A spatula

A sharp knife

A large pot

Fill your large pot with water and cook the pasta per the directions on the box.  When the pasta is al dente/to the texture that you like, drain the water and place the pasta back in the pot.  Set aside.

Add your olive oil to your saute pan.  Place the pan on a burner over medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply browned (this takes about seven to ten minutes, depending on how hot your burner is).  Set aside.

In another saute pan, add the butter (like Earth Balance) and place over a burner on medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the flour, and stir till the ingredients are combined.  Slowly add in the almond milk and stir in until there aren’t any lumps left in the pan.  Add the pumpkin puree.  Again, six heaping spoonfuls gives you a lovely, rich, “cheesy” quality.  More than that will yield and obvious “pumpkin sauce.”  As long as you’re not dating Roo, you should be ok to decide how far you want to go with pumpkin.  Stir in the pumpkin puree until the ingredients are combined.  The sauce will thicken as it continues to cook.  I tend to be satisfied with its consistency as soon as I get the pumpkin puree stirred in.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the nutmeg and the caramelized onions (including the oil that they were cooked in).  Stir until the ingredients are combined.  At first it’ll look like an oily mess, but keep going, it’ll come together.

Add the pumpkin sauce to the pasta in the pot.  Stir till every bit of pasta is coated with the deliciousness.  I mean, sauce.  Serve immediately.

These make excellent leftovers, and Roo and I love eating it with a side of braised kale.  There’s just something magical about mixing greens and “cheesy” pasta.

Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta with Braised Kale

You’re probably wondering why this blog isn’t called, “I Love Kale.”

1) It’s already a blog, and

2) “Night Cheese” was also taken.

Hopefully I’ve convinced some to give my favorite leafy green a try.  I’ll admit I’ve been trying to use it in basically every dinner this winter (and now into spring).  Thankfully Roo eats whatever I make him.

It was a Tuesday afternoon when Roo called me as I was leaving work, to say that he would be driving down to his mother’s house for dinner.  A touch annoyed, because he had forgotten to tell me in advance, I was left wondering what I would make myself for dinner.  I originally planned poaching some salmon, but that fillet was for two people.

Determined not to make it an evening of eating my feelings (and wishing there was a pay per view channel just for women) I opened my fridge to find inspiration.  What looked back at me were bunches and bunches of kale (I buy five at a time every time when I go grocery shopping…I have a problem).  Not wanting the usual that I make as a side, I started going through my cupboards. In the very the back, right behind a bag of shredded coconut, was a box of whole wheat angel hair pasta.  Pasta was exactly the carby comfort I could go for, and thankfully I remembered a recipe in Bon Appétit.  It consisted of everything I wanted: carbs, greens, a touch of cheese and a bit of lemon.

It took only thirty minutes to make, and I “spoiled” myself by poaching an egg to throw on top.

I was so glad that I did.

The runny yolk when mixed with the spaghetti just added another level of ah-mazing to the liquid from the braised greens.

If you’re cooking for yourself tonight, make this.  The runny yolk alone will make you question why you thought you needed to be eating with company.  Who needs company when you can eat by yourself in front of a mirror?  And guess what?  The leftovers are just as delicious reheated the next day.

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg‘s Column in Bon Appétit

Serves Two as a Main


Three tablespoons of olive oil (for braising)

One bunch of kale (about a pound)

One medium onion, diced (I love onion, if you only like it, use less)

Four to five cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (I love garlic, if you’re only on an “just friends” basis, use less)

One tablespoon of red pepper flake (I love heat…you get it, I know)

At least one cup of low sodium chicken broth/stock (you may need more if the kale gets dry over time)

One quarter of a box of whole wheat pasta (this is what I had left in my cupboard)

Salt (to add to water for boiling pasta)

Two teaspoons of lemon juice (start with one, taste the sauce, then move up to two if you need more acidity)

At least a 1/4 cup of pasta water

Grated parmesan cheese

One poached egg (optional)


A sharp knife

Large saute pan

Large pot

Tongs or spatula

A salad spinner


Fill your large pot 3/4 of the way up with cold water.  Salt the water generously.  Put the pot on a burner, cover, and set to high.

While you wait for the water to boil, prep the rest of your ingredients.

Hold the stem of the kale, and pluck away the leaves in bite sized portions.  If there are any leaves that are yellow, or discolored, toss them in the bin.

Wash the leaves and place in a salad spinner and give the kale a good couple of whirls.  If you don’t have a salad spinner, that’s ok, just rinse the kale very well in a colander (kale can have bits of grit trapped within the leaves).  The kale doesn’t need to be bone-dry when adding it to your saute pan, so don’t worry.  In fact, I love the sound the drops of water on the leaves make, when it hits the hot oil in the pan.  It’s strangely addictive.

Splash about 4 tablespoons of olive oil into your pan.  Set your burner on medium.  As your oil heats, dice your onion.  When your oil starts to shimmer, it should be hot enough for you to throw your onion in.  Sometimes, when I’m unsure, I like to take a piece of onion with my tongs and dip it into the oil.  If it sizzles, or if (because you have your “greatness” playlist playing too loudly on your iHome in the background) you see bubbles start to form around the onion, then you know it’s hot enough.

Throw your onion in.  Stir occasionally, and chop your garlic.  When your onion becomes golden brown, throw in your garlic and red pepper flake.  Stir until aromatic.  About 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Throw in the kale.  I do this in batches.  I like to throw in a handful at a time, using my tongs to get the greens covered with the hot onions, garlic, and oil to help it wilt.  When all the greens have been incorporated, slowly add the cup of chicken broth/stock.  It should reach at least halfway up your greens.

Simmer until the the greens are no longer bitter, and are tender (almost sweet, but don’t worry, not that “gross, it tastes like someone added sugar to my veg,” sweet).  Make sure to toss around the kale intermittently so that all the greens are evenly cooked.  It should take about 30 minutes.  Also, the stock should be reduced more than half.  There is usually barely any left for me.  However, cooking times vary.  There have been times when I tasted the greens after thirty minutes, and it tasted great, yet there was still about a cup of stock left.  I decided that it was just going to be a soupy dish.  A soupy delicious dish.  Which is great for the angel hair pasta that you’re about to add.  More sauce = more yum. …Did that sound oddly Rachael Ray of me?  Hopefully she doesn’t come after me…

While the kale is braising, hopefully your pot of water has come to a boil.  At this point, I would start boiling the pasta once the kale has been braising for twenty minutes.  Taste the kale, if it tastes as if it’s almost done (almost tender, not bitter), start cooking the pasta.  As someone who will openly admit to never being able to time dishes together, it’s ok if the kale is no where near done.  The pasta can always hang out in the colander and wait for your kale to cook through.

Add the angel hair pasta to the boiling water, and cook until tender but it still has a bit of substance when you bite into it.  I know, my words are just so useful in describing things (as in not).  When the pasta is done, add it to your braised kale.  I like to add the pasta manually with my tongs.  Because of this, pasta water is automatically added to the braised kale, thickening up the sauce a bit.  If you do not have tongs, or the thought of zero control over the amount of salted pasta water going into your braised kale makes you want to self harm, just drain the pasta in a colander, making sure to reserve at least a 1/4 cup of the water.  You can also drain the pasta if the kale isn’t ready yet.

If you elected to drain the pasta, add it to your kale when the greens have cooked through.  Add two tablespoons of pasta water to the pan and the lemon juice.  Add grated parmesan cheese.  I usually grate about 1/3 of a cup.  Toss everything together until combined.  Taste.  Does it need more acid?  Add more lemon juice.  Too much lemon?  Try adding a bit more cheese and a little bit of pasta water.

Serve immediately, preferably with a poached egg on top, so you can swirl the runny yolk into the pasta.

*Edited to add, that I’ve liked this dish so much I made it last night!  It was great with some perfectly-ripe off the vine tomatoes.