Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

I like them scrambled eggs, I like them fried eggs, I like them BAKED eggs…


I once had a dream that I was in a museum and as I turned the corner a monstrosity of destructive crap all over the wall nearly brought me to tears. The artist thought it would be cute or pretentious, poignant or whatever, to throw eggs against a wall and leave their yolks streaming down the plaster in sad sunbursts of messes. The shattered eggshells were littered on the floor like sad glitter. Normally I can appreciate a conceptual art piece or four. For a brief second my mind pandered to my analytical and philosophical self. The cracked eggs were unfertilized ideas… “STOP!” my subconscious shouted. “Why is post-modern pretention SO WASTEFUL!?!? GIMME THOSE EGGS!”

And when I woke up my stomach was in tears, hungry for some eggs. But what kind of eggs did I want to eat? As a self-described brunch addict, I love scrambled eggs, poached eggs, frittatas, fried eggs, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled eggs on salad, runny yolks—I’ll eat anything eggs. Recently though, I’ve been looking to add some novelty into my egg repertoire and I was really excited when a friend of mine suggested that I look into baked eggs. I actually didn’t think eggs could be palatably baked until I started looking at photos and recipes of cute ramekins of sunny-side-ups. I always thought some weird filmy crust might form on the top. Ew.

Well, I guess a crusty surface did take shape with this recipe, but it was the delicious, gooey, nutty, and salty crunchiness of melted grated parmesan cheese. No foul there. I baked them until they were just opaque, nested beautifully atop a mixture of tomato sauce, bacon, and spinach and couldn’t wait to dunk a piece of crisp, thick toast into the savory combination. (I sort of didn’t and burned my tongue). But that didn’t matter. After a long night, baked eggs and toast were just what I needed to get me through the rest of the day. The best part about this recipe is its versatility—you can add anything you want into the sauce or create a totally different flavor with salsa, black beans, bell peppers, and cheese for Southwestern baked eggs.

Recipe for Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce
(serves 4)

2 cups marinara sauce
Bacon
Frozen spinach
4 eggs
Freshly cracked pepper
¼ cup fresh-grated parmesan cheese
4 ramekins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fry some bacon—at least 1 piece per person.
2. Divide the tomato sauce evenly into the ramekins. Chop the bacon into bits and divide evenly. Add the frozen spinach to each ramekin.
3. Crack an egg into each ramekin and sprinkle the grated parmesan on top. Season with pepper—the cheese should be salty enough, so no need for salt.
4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, checking periodically to make sure you don’t overcook them. They should be cooked until they are just opaque and the parmesan has browned slightly.
Note: if you don’t have ramekins, you can use a small baking dish. You’ll probably need more sauce to create a bed for the eggs. Cooking time should be the same.

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