Eggs are probably my favourite breakfast dish as they are so quick and easy to prepare and very versatile. This dish might take a little longer than your average egg dish but it is well worth the wait.
'Italian Eggs' might not necessarily be the correct name for this delicious dish, but I didn't want to call it 'Baked Eggs' since for this recipe I don't bake them but keep them on the top of the oven. That being said, if you prefer you could easily finish this dish off in the oven so that you can get on with other things while the eggs cook.
Regardless of how you cook the eggs what you end up with is a deliciously tangy and slightly spicy tomato sauce which becomes a silky smooth bed for cooking the eggs on, until they are just cooked with perfectly runny yolks which once broken dribble and ooze into the sauce. Finished with some fresh basil and plenty of bread of your choice for dipping in and mopping up and you have the most delicious egg dish perfect for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 x 28oz (or 2 x 400g) tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar (optional)
½ – 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional but if using add as much or as little as you like depending on how hot you like things)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 organic large eggs
scattering of fresh basil leaves
Bread of your choice for dipping
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil then add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute being careful not to brown. Add the tomatoes, sugar, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for roughly 20-25 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir in about half of the basil leaves then lower the heat so that it is just gently simmering, then carefully crack in the eggs. Cover with a tight fitting lid and leave to cook for roughly 3-4 minutes until the eggs are just cooked but still with a runny yolk.
As soon as the eggs are ready remove the lid to stop the cooking and sprinkle over a good pinch of sea salt and if you like a grinding of pepper. Finish with a final scattering of basil then serve in shallow bowls with plenty of bread or toast to mop everything up with.
*If you would like to make individual servings like the one pictured (which is what I do 99% of the time) simply make up the sauce as above then transfer ¼ of it to a small individual sized frying pan (keep the rest of the sauce for another day – unless you have 4 small pans and are doing it for presentation purposes!). Once the sauce is simmering follow the instructions as above then serve in the pan on a chopping board to protect your table from the heat!