We are leaving for the weekend tomorrow, and I wanted to use up some of the accumulated odds and ends in the refrigerator. Every so often I find I have a tiny bit of bacon or ham, a few lumps of good cheese, or maybe a pickled pepper or two left over from pizza night. As long as I have some good tomato sauce on hand, I can throw it all into a skillet, crack a few eggs on top, and 15 minutes later our baked eggs are ready to eat. A side of thick-cut toast is never a bad idea.
Tonight’s baked eggs included shallots and sautéed kale, crushed tomatoes, pickled peppers, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Jarred chilis or pickled peppers add a bit of heat and flavor that keeps the tomato sauce interesting. If you want to start with a bit of rendered bacon, you’ll get some smokey notes in there too. It’s important that the sauce in the skillet is hot when the eggs are added; otherwise you’ll have hard-cooked eggs and lukewarm sauce.
Ours was bubbling away happily when I left to run Perrin to track practice; Julian pulled it out of the oven while I was away. I like to pull mine while the yolks are still a bit runny I returned home to the skillet cooling on the counter, awaiting a few photos before we tucked in.
Then I saw Mr. Bitters, our large black cat, arc through the air towards our dinner. He landed with both front paws in the hot skillet, recoiled in total surprise, and ran around the house while Julian tried to catch him. He doesn’t seem too badly burned, so after we cleaned up the tomato sauce paw prints, Julian went to get take-out. May your baked eggs meet a better fate than ours did.
Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato SaucePrint Recipe
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
- 1oz/28g pickled peppers or chilis (less if they are super hot)
- 16oz/453g crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese, such as mozzarella or fontina
- salt to taste
Sweat the shallots in olive oil until they are translucent.
Add the kale, stirring occasionally. If the pan looks dry, add a bit of water or stock.
Season with a pinch of salt.
When the kale is wilted, add the chilis or pickled peppers.
Add the tomato sauce.
When the sauce starts to bubble, turn off the heat.
Use a spoon to make small depressions in the surface of the sauce.
Crack the eggs into the depressions.
Immediately top with dollops of ricotta and a sprinkling of mozzarella.
Bake for 15 minutes in a 325°/165°C oven until the cheese is melted and the whites of the eggs are set.
Serve with thick slices of toast for sopping up the sauce.