Campanelle with Hard-Boiled Eggs, Capers & Watercress

campanelle with hard-boiled egg, capers & watercress

The union of egg and noodle has long been celebrated: beaten eggs form the base of a creamy sauce in pasta carbonara; eggs scrambled with rice noodles are essential in Pad Thai; and poached or fried eggs cracked atop fresh pasta make an instant sauce for an impromptu, deeply satisfying dinner.

As much as I adore this pairing, I’d never thought to enter hard-boiled eggs into the equation until I spotted a recipe in the April Bon Appetit. The goal of the three succinct recipes tucked into the corners of this one page was to offer ideas for using up those colored eggs many of us find in our fridge this time of year. But the combination of hard-boiled eggs, capers and anchovies works so well together, you might find yourself — I have at least — boiling eggs even once you’ve depleted your stock.

In this dish, a warm anchovy-caper-olive oil sauce dresses the pasta first; then a splash of lemon juice and reserved cooking liquid thin out the sauce ensuring it coats the pasta nicely; finally chopped hard-boiled eggs and greens complete the dish.

If your hard-boiled eggs cooperate during the peeling process, this meal should take 20 minutes to prepare: while the water boils, you chop your garlic, mince your anchovies and get your sauce going. While the pasta cooks, you grate your cheese, juice a lemon and, with any luck, peel and chop those eggs.

I used pea shoots the first time I made this dish, but I’ve since been using watercress, whose peppery flavor complements the eggs so nicely. If a tea sandwich could be made into pasta, this would be it — a little less dainty, certainly, but no less delicious.

capers, anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes

eggs, lemon, pasta


Campanelle with Hard-Boiled Eggs, Capers & Watercress
Adapted from Bon Appetit

½ pound campanelle (or other short pasta)
¼ cup olive oil
4 anchovy fillets, minced
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 coarsely grated (I prefer to chop them) hard-boiled large eggs
a handful of greens such as watercress or arugula (or chopped parsley to taste)

1. Cook campanelle in salted water until al dente; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat. Add anchovies, garlic, capers, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until anchovies dissolve, about 2 minutes. Note: If you do this before your pasta finishes cooking, just bring it back up to a simmer before tossing it with the pasta.

3. Place pasta in a large mixing bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid, the warm anchovy sauce, parmesan and lemon juice. Taste. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Throw in eggs and greens or parsley. Toss again. Taste and add more pasta cooking liquid as needed until sauce coats pasta. You might want to add a splash more lemon juice, too. I usually end up using a quarter cup of the pasta cooking liquid and a squeeze more of lemon.

campanelle with hard-boiled egg, capers & watercress


    • says

      Thanks, Ashley! I know, I hadn’t ever before either — it’s surprisingly good. The yolk gives the sauce kind of chalky texture, but I think it’s delicious.

  1. Janine says

    Your pasta carbonara continues to be a family favorite and a weeknight staple. This looks delicious too …I might branch out while I have hard cooked eggs on hand :)

    • says

      I know, me neither — this garlicky-caper-anchovy sauce, by the way, would be good on so many pasta dishes. It’s so tasty. Hope you make it soon!

  2. says

    Like another commenter, boiled eggs and pasta are new to me (aside from ramen)! I love it! Such fresh flavors….. and even though we love the occasional “involved” meal that lands on the table at 10pm 😉 this one sounds so easy and quick! Cheers!

  3. says

    Sounds delicious and so simple! As you said – would never think to put boiled eggs with pasta!

    The idea of ‘grating’ eggs is bizarre, I will also chop when I try this!

  4. Sianna says

    Hi! New follower here :) I have a question that I hope doesn’t make me look like even more of a newbie.
    Are “anchovy filets” the kind from the can? I’ve never, (and boy do I mean ever) cooked with or eaten anchovies outside of Cesar dressing and Worcestershire sauce! At least not to my knowledge. But this looks SO yummy!

    Thanks! I’m going back to perusing and pinning :)

    • says

      Yes! I used anchovies from a can, and they were packed in oil. You can use the salt-packed ones, too, but those are a little fussier. With the oil-packed ones, just pat them dry (or don’t) and mince them up. Yum!

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