The Sicilian word affucato, or affogato in Italian, means to drown. Which is what these eggs are – drowned in a savory broth enriched with asparagus and potatoes.
My mother Maria can do wonderful things with eggs. This is my favorite of all of her egg dishes. It’s a really unique recipe – unusual as far as most poached egg recipes are concerned and also unusual in flavor. It’s amazing that such a simple dish can be so bold in taste. The parsley and marjoram add incredible aroma to the broth and serve as a nest to hold the poached eggs in so they don’t spread out in the pan. The recipe calls for discarding the parsley, but I personally enjoy eating it. Just be sure to purchase parsley that has small tender stems. Adding potatoes is up to you but a good idea if you really want to make this a one dish meal. This is a great dish for brunch or a light supper. Don’t forget to serve it with a crusty Italian bread to sop up those delicious juices.
POACHED EGGS WITH ASPARAGUS AND POTATOES
(Ova Affucato cu Sparaci é Patate/Uova Affogate con Asparagi é Patate)
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4 servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 pound red or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (optional)
5-6 sprigs fresh marjoram (optional)
1 bunch Italian parsley, well washed
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large or extra-large eggs
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a 3-quart or 4-quart covered saucepan, over low heat. Add garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to turn a light golden brown.
Add chicken stock, potatoes and marjoram if using, and place the entire bunch of parsley with stems in the pot so that it forms a nest.
Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes and parsley stems are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the asparagus.
Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or plate and carefully slip onto the parsley nest keeping separated. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until eggs reach desired doneness and asparagus is tender.
Skim off any foam that has formed on top. Using a slotted spoon, carefully separate and remove each egg and place in 4 individual serving bowls. Remove the parsley and discard. Ladle the broth, asparagus, and potatoes onto the serving bowls. Serve with slices of crusty Italian bread.