Most things that are wonderful start with sauteeing garlic. This does too. In olive oil, no less (I think we’re getting closer to Tuscany with every word I write). Once it gets fragrant and barely changes color, add the drained tomatoes and thyme sprigs. Simmer until some of the juices evaporate and it thickens up a bit. Remove a bit of the tomato mixture (about a third or so).
Next comes that incredible, edible egg. I love eggs. For this recipe, they should be carefully cracked and placed on the tomatoes equi-distant from each other (especially if you’re going to want to try to serve them in a nice little ramekin). Carefully spoon the reserved tomato mixture over the whites of the eggs and then cover the dish until those whites that you can’t see just set. No, that’s not sarcasm. Why?
Uncover the skillet and put it under the broiler until the whites are set. If there is a way to do this and keep the yellow showing instead of getting a white film, I don’t know it. My yolk got milky (which was ok; the inside was still nice and runny). Take the pan out, sprinkle with chives and cheese and serve with toast.
- Set a rack in the upper half of the oven and heat the broiler to high. On the stovetop, heat a 10-inch, straight-sided, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, and once it’s hot, add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring often so it won’t burn, until it begins to turn light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8-minutes.
- Discard the thyme sprigs and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve about one-third of the sauce in a bowl and spread the remaining sauce evenly around the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low, crack the eggs into the tomato sauce, and lightly spoon the reserved tomato sauce over the whites of the eggs (not on the yolks). Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes so the eggs set slightly.
- Uncover the skillet and set it under the broiler until the yolks firm up slightly but are still soft to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle with the chives and cheese. Serve immediately with the toasted bread.
Try serving the eggs on top of sautéed spinach or lay a slice of prosciutto over them. For a more elegant presentation, divide the eggs and sauce into four small gratin dishes before-broiling.
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