The unlikely combination of eggs cooked with tomato sauce of some sort is quite loved across a variety of nationalities, from Italian Uova in Brodetto to Mexican Huevos Rancheros to something I had at an American deli years ago, Eggs in Purgatory, years ago, the art of baking or poaching eggs in tomato sauce has become quite popular for everything from breakfast to dinner, probably because it is so good. I had some of the left over sauce from Andrew’s baked cod at truffle night, which I was going to simple spoon over some grilled shrimp and rice. Unfortunately when I got home to cook I found we were out of shrimp and a trip back out to the store wasn’t an option. I opted for creativity instead. With a bit of enhancement to Andrew’s amazing sauce and four fresh eggs we came up with our own version of a simple dish of eggs and tomato sauce.
Eggs with Tomato, Fennel and Capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion – chopped
5 cloves garlic – minced
1 fennel bulb – frawns and core removed, cleaned and chopped
2 stalks celery – chopped
2 medium tomatoes – chopped and seeded
1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers – rinsed
2 tablespoons picholine olives – chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil – chopped
1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 large fresh eggs
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Preheat the oven to broil. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large oven-safe saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, fennel and celery and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each) and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the fresh and canned tomatoes with their juice, the dried seasonings. Bring to a boil, the simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, vinegar and fresh herbs. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes bringing everything up to temperature. Adjust your seasoning to taste.
In your mind, cut the pan into quarters. Using a wooden spoon, carefully create a hole in the sauce of one quarter. Carefully crack an egg into that hole. Do the same with the other three quarters of the pan with the other three eggs. Cook on the stove top for 2 minutes then transfer to the broiler and broil for 3 minutes. You want the egg yolks to remain runny, but the eggs whites to set. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with toasted crusty bread.