Mediterranean cooks make many versions of eggs poached in tomato sauce, but this one is slightly unusual because it involves cooking the egg whites in the sauce, almost like egg drop soup, to add substance. Marco Canora got the idea from Fabio Picchi, owner of the legendary Cibrèo restaurant in Florence.
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Four 1-inch-thick slices of country bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 large eggs
1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes with their juices, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
How to Make It
Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil, arrange on the baking sheet and broil for about 3 minutes, turning once, until golden and toasted. Place the toasts in 4 shallow bowls.
Arrange 5 small bowls on a counter. Crack the eggs: Reserve 2 of the whites in one of the bowls and one yolk in each of the other 4 bowls. Refrigerate the remaining 2 egg whites for another use.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil with the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Beat the egg whites with a fork and gently fold them into the tomato sauce. Cook over moderately high heat just until the whites are set, about 1 minute. Using the back of a spoon, make 4 indentations in the sauce. Slide a yolk into each indentation and cover the skillet. Cook over very low heat just until the yolks are warmed but not set, about 1 1/2 minutes. Spoon the sauce and yolks over the toasts, garnish with the oregano and serve right away.
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