You can poach the eggs earlier in the day and keep them in cold water. Just before serving, immerse them in simmering water for about 90 seconds to warm them through without cooking them any further—you want to keep the yolks runny to blend with the butter and cheese to create the delicious sauce.
Bring a large pot of water (about 6 qt.) to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, fill a wide, shallow pan with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Crack each egg into a saucer and gently slide it into the simmering water. Poach the eggs until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon, drain any water, and set on a warm plate.
When the pasta water is boiling, add the salt and pasta. Stir frequently to keep the pasta from sticking. Use the cooking time on the package as a guide, but start checking 2 minutes sooner. When the pasta is al dente (soft but with some resistance left), drain it in a colander, reserving about 2/3 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the empty pot and toss with 2 Tbs. of the cooking water, the butter, and the grated cheese. If it seems too dry, add a few more spoonfuls of water and toss again.
Portion the pasta into six warm serving bowls, top each with a poached egg and the caviar, and serve right away.
nutrition information (per serving):
16, Fat Calories
140, Saturated Fat
16, Monounsaturated Fat
35, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Mark Ferri