Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick and easy: Eggs baked in marinara

It's cold in Ottawa. I finally turned on the furnace just to bump it back up to 20 degrees in the house. Coming from Southwest Ontario turning on the furnace in September seems crazy, but there you go. Brrr.

At any rate, yogurt was not going to cut it for breakfast this morning. I thought back to my favourite brunch when I lived in Windsor: eggs diablo at Rino's Kitchen and Ale House, and decided that the morning is a perfectly acceptable time to eat baked eggs - normally a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

I've tried to simplify this recipe further by putting the tomatoes and ingredients straight into the oven to heat up rather than starting with a sauce, but it's just not the same.

There are a ton of variations you can do with this. Want it spicy? Add sliced hot peppers or extra chili flakes to the sauce. Want it cheesy? Add some goat's cheese or ricotta. You can top the finished product with feta or shaved Parmesan... but keep it simple. Overdoing it with a marinara sauce is never a good idea.

This is great served with crusty bread, slightly stale pitas (or, you know, fresh, but I sort of like it with stale ones), or toast. I scale this recipe up and down with no problems.

Baked Eggs in Marinara
for two servings

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-large clove garlic
1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1 Tbsp of your best balsamic vinegar
A few fresh basil leaves or a big pinch of dried basil.
Big pinch salt
Big pinch pepper
Small pinch chili flakes

4 eggs
Any additions you want to make. (I just garnished with parsley in the photo.)

Set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees and set a stove burner to medium heat.

In a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in the olive oil until it's golden brown on all sides, then dump in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Reduce the heat to simmer until the oven heats up, or for ten-fifteen minutes. If you don't like chunks in your sauce, blend it with a hand blender or mash to eliminate the big pieces. (If you don't blend it fish out the garlic and fresh basil before moving on.)

Once the sauce has simmered and the oven is hot, transfer the sauce to two oven-proof dishes big enough to hold half the sauce and two eggs (or to one dish big enough to hold it all), but small enough to do it snugly. Immediately crack the eggs into the sauce and transfer to the oven. If the sauce has been allowed to cool, put it in the oven for a few minutes to get it bubbling again before cracking in the eggs.

Bake for about 15 minutes for runny yolks, 20 minutes for set yolks. If you're going for runny yolks expect the eggs to be jiggly when you take them out of the oven - but they should be opaque. If they're still transparent then put them back in for a few minutes.

(This recipe is 5 Weight Watchers Points+ per serving.)