Bobby Flay's Italian Poached Egg Twist Is Wildly Clever

The verdict is in: the world loves cacio e pepe. Whether you've traveled all the way to Rome to try the famous pasta dish or you've made it at home. Maybe you've even done your own clever spin on cacio e pepe with snacks or pizza. Salty cheese, aromatic pepper — it's a crowd-pleaser. 

For those who are uninitiated, cacio e pepe is simply cheese and pepper, and the dish is sort of like Rome's version of mac and cheese. The basic recipe is pasta (usually bucatini or spaghetti) that is cooked, coated with olive oil or butter, and then covered in grated parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese. The dish is then topped with a healthy amount of black pepper. When made well, this dish, like most Italian classics, is a simple and delicious way to let quality ingredients shine on the plate. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has his own unique take on cacio e pepe, however, and it's one of the more unique offerings that we've seen. In a video on his Instagram page, he offered a signature dish of his cacio e pepe eggs. You might be thinking that adding cheese and pepper to eggs is nothing new, and you'd be correct. But what Flay does is bring the cozy, homey vibe of cacio e pepe and turn it into a classic brunch dish. 

How to make it at home

To make chef Bobby Flay's cacio e pepe eggs, you'll need a few ingredients — your favorite bread for toasting, a couple of fresh eggs, and some good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. While Flay's recipe doesn't call for Pecorino Romano, you could add it if you want the dish to feel more traditionally Roman. You'll also need garlic, shallots, white wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, and Dijon mustard. 

To start, Flay coats a slice of bread with olive oil and then toasts it. After it's toasted, he rubs a smashed garlic clove on the bread to give it some subtle garlic flavor. Flay then poaches an egg or two, and while the eggs are gently cooking, he makes a light vinaigrette that ties the whole dish together. Most brunch egg dishes will come with a nice sauce like a hollandaise, and this is Flay's answer to that — he mixes white wine vinegar with some Dijon mustard and honey and then adds to that some chopped shallot. In the video on Instagram, he also adds chives. He then whisks in some olive oil until it emulsifies and adds some of the parmesan cheese to the sauce to give it texture and plenty of black pepper to give it the signature cacio e pepe taste. Once his eggs are properly poached he adds them on top of the toast and then drizzles the vinaigrette on top. If anyone makes this tasty dish for brunch, we'll come running.