Bucatini with Guanciale, Spinach, Toasted Walnut Crumbs and Poached Egg

By Marge Perry & David Bonom

Guanciale is a rich and flavorful cured meat which lends deep flavor to this special pasta dish, while the walnut crumbs add appealing texture. When the poached egg, which is served whole on top of each plate, is burst, the yolk oozes out to add another level of rich flavor and creamy texture to the dish. 

  • Yield: Makes 4-6 servings
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Course: Dinner

All you need for this recipe and more...


  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 7 ounces guanciale or pancetta, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 large eggs


  1. Bring an Anolon Advanced 7.5 Qt. Wide Stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions; drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. 
  2. In the same pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; transfer to a bowl and reserve. 
  3. Wipe out pot with a paper towel and return to the stove. Add the guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and peas and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved guanciale and cook 2 minutes. Add the pasta, 1/2 cup cooking liquid and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; cook, tossing, until liquid thickens and pasta is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in, 3/4 of the breadcrumb mixture, basil and cheese.  Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumb mixture. 
  4. Meanwhile, bring 2-inches of water to a bare simmer in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Working one at a time, break an egg into a small cup and gently pour into the water; repeat. Cook eggs, occasionally spooning hot water over the top of each, until the whites are firm and the yolks are creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lift the eggs out, one at a time, with a slotted spoon and dab the bottom with a dry paper towel to remove excess water. Place each egg on top of a plate of pasta. Serve immediately.
  5. *For a saucier pasta add more of the reserved cooking liquid as desired.