Orecchiete Pasta with English Spinach, Mushrooms and Eggs

Look at that golden yolk!
Look at that golden yolk!

Since it is the season of Lent I have chosen to make a sacrifice and give up red meat for the full period of forty days. So, due to the absence of this protein in the Smiling Chef household, I decided to make use of our golden eggs which our lovely hens lay fresh for us each day. When you pierce into yoke with a fork the runny egg trickles through the pasta creating its own sauce (see notes below).  It feels like a breakfast classic, but trust me, this one makes a satisfying lunch when enjoyed with a dry red. 


  • 400g orecchiete pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 200g button mushrooms, scrubbed and quartered
  • 200g English spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook till the mushrooms are golden, then stir through the spinach.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return to the cooking pot. Add the mushroom mixture and  toss it to combine. Cover and keep warm while you cook the eggs.

To fry the eggs, heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add the eggs and cook over a medium heat until cooked to your liking. 3-5 minutes is great for a runny egg, but if you prefer it cooked right through, cook on low for 7-8 minutes.

Season the pasta to taste. Plate it up and top with a fried egg.

The yolk oozes through the pasta making the perfect sauce.
The yolk oozes through the pasta making the perfect sauce.






Writer’s notes: When cooking eggs is always important to consider their source, as eggs are the perfect breeding grounds for salmonella or other harmful bacteria. For this reason pregnant women and young children are advised against eating undercooked eggs. However, the fresher the egg, the safer it will be to eat runny. A version of this article was first published in Grapeshot Magazine Issue 1|Volume 6| March 2014: Clean Slate Edition.  

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon D’Souza a.k.a. The Smiling Chef


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Simple and elegant; sounds like the perfect weekday lunch or dinner alright. You can never go wrong with mushrooms and pasta if you ask me.


    1. Thank you for the great comment Hannah, I definitely agree with that. I always make sure to have them in my kitchen as a backup. I cook with both quite a lot, especially now as I have recently taken up a challenge to go completely “factory farmed, meat-free” for the next month or so (during Lent). They provide lots of great iron and protein 🙂


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