Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Kale & Olive Oil-Fried Duck Eggs

This light, creamy pasta is a show-stopper, topped with spring produce and fried duck eggs.

1 pound pasta
1 large bunch Lacinato kale, greens stripped of tough ribs, washed and coarsely chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of root ends, and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
1-2 stalks of green garlic, trimmed of root ends and minced
4 duck eggs
2-3 tablespoons butter
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil. Drop in pasta noodles and cook according to package directions, or until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Set aside.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmery, then add the green garlic, asparagus and kale leaves, tossing to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant, the greens are wilted, and the asparagus are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Carefully crack 1 duck egg and drop into the pan, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Fry until whites are set and crispy around the edges, but yolk is still runny, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggs.

4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the kale, return to medium heat briefly, and toss with remaining tablespoon of butter and fresh parsley, until all are combined. Pile noodles into 4 individual serving bowls and top each with a fried duck egg. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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