This is definitely one of my favorite dinners ever. I adore it and I make it at least a couple of times every month. It has all the elements which to me make for a good meal. It's comforting, rustic yet fresh, and just plain yumm. Also, it's something I can make quickly and I usually have most of the ingredients on hand so I can throw it together even if I don't have anything planned for dinner ahead of time.
I always serve this meal with a glass of hearty red wine and a side of braised greens. I'm braising dino kale and golden beet greens tonight, since I just can't seem to get enough of those winter greens that are still so abundant now.
This dish also requires a crusty loaf of artisan bread to serve as a base for the tomato sauce and eggs, which get spooned over top. I usually have a number of loaf remnants in my freezer and this is a great time to pull out one of those leftover pieces and put it to good use.
To make the dish:
Yields 2 servings:
4 large farm eggs
4 slices crusty artisan bread (ciabatta, baguette...)
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 TB Olive Oil
1, 26 oz jar spicy Marinara sauce (I like San Marzano Brand Arrabiatta Sauce)
1/2 tsp red chile flakes (optional)
1 TB sugar
1/4 cup water
2 TB Parmesano Reggiano
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1) In a 12" skillet, heat the 2 TB Olive Oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the jarred tomato sauce, the sugar, the water, and season with salt, pepper, and chile flakes (if using). Stir the ingredients together, cover the pot, and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly.
2) Meanwhile, toast the bread. Do this in your toaster or in the oven. Set out the toasted bread on your serving plates and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Set aside.
3) Crack the whole eggs into a small bowl and add them, one at a time into the simmering sauce, making sure you leave space around each egg so they poach separately. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, put the lid back on and cook, until the eggs are poached to your liking, about 5-8 minutes. I like mine 'poached well' so I cook them on the longer side.
4) When the eggs are ready, spoon some of the sauce on top of the bread slices and top with one poached egg per slice of bread. I generally portion 2 slices and 2 eggs per person. Sprinkle the eggs with Parmesan and top with a bit more sauce if desired.