Happy Valentine's Day. Let's make Eggs in Hell. Or, as they say in Italia, U'Ova All'Inforno. I like this dish because of its simplicity. Let's face it, when you come home at any given time and you are hungry it's nice to be able to throw something together really quickly. It's also nice to not have to clean up a whole bunch of dishes.
One day at work a friend of mine mentioned this dish as, "...eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce." I thought about what they had said and put it together in my head while I was working. When I got home I Googled it and found all kinds of variations for it by all kinds of people, famous or not.
So what, exactly, is Eggs in Hell? Basically, it is an egg (or eggs) cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. You can make your own sauce from scratch. Or, if you are really in a hurry you can use a good jarred sauce (today's recipe will use the latter in the spirit of quick convenience). When I use a jarred pasta sauce I still like to spice it up a little bit more to my liking. I like to serve it over toasted bread but it could easily be eaten over pasta or just plain, straight from the pan.
This recipe will allow you to cook for one person or more, if need be. It is very easy to adjust. You can cook it in one pot. If you cooked for yourself then you have one plate to wash. If you cooked for a crowd you still don't have that much more work to do. Eggs in Hell is good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
First, as always, we will get our ingredients together (mis en place).
Next we will sauté a little sliced onion, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, and thyme in some EVOO.
When the onions are soft and the herbs are aromatic pour in as much of the sauce as you will need. Bring it to a strong simmer and stir to mix.
When the sauce is simmering nicely make a little indentation (this keeps the white from spreading too much; good for multiple eggs) for the egg and crack it directly into the sauce.
Cover the pot with a lid and let the egg cook while you make a slice of toast. If you are making pasta then allow for the appropriate amount of time for the pasta to cook.
When the toast is done put it in a bowl. I like to put some fresh spinach on top of mine.
By now the egg should be medium. If you like your egg runny then get the toast done before you crack the egg into the sauce. That way you won't be doing other things while the egg is cooking. If you like your egg hard then just cook the shit out of it. Spoon the egg and sauce directly onto the spinach (the heat of the sauce will wilt the spinach slightly). Grate some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and chow down. Yum.
If you have any leftover sauce you can just put it right back into the jar for another time. Just try to use it up within a week because food poisoning really does suck and I would like you to keep reading my blog in good faith.
Eggs in Hell
1 jar of good quality Pasta Sauce
1/4 Onion, sliced
1+ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Dried (or fresh) Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried (or fresh) Thyme
3 Tablespoons EVOO
Salt to taste
Pepper to tast
1 slice Crusty Bread, toasted
Fresh Baby Spinach, optional
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not optional
Heat the EVOO in a sauce pan. Add the onion, red pepper, oregano, and thyme. Sauté until the onion is soft.
Add as much sauce as you need for one serving (I recommend at least a cup) to the pan and bring to a hard simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt.
Crack the egg directly into the sauce and cover. Cook about 3 minutes for a soft egg.
While the egg is cooking place the toasted bread in a bowl and top it with some fresh spinach. When the egg is done spoon the egg and plenty of sauce over the spinach. Top the egg with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.