Recipe: Baked Eggs with Tomato and Fennel

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This dish is pretty damn easy and makes for a delicious brunch, lunch or dinner if you’re an egg freak (like me).

The secret to this dish is the amount of time you cook the tomato sauce and the eggs – make sure the sauce is cooked for enough time for the flavours and the texture to intensify, and that the eggs aren’t overcooked so that your yolks are runny to dip the bread in.

INGREDIENTS

2 onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp brown sugar
2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can crushed Italian tomatoes
1L passata
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tsp dried oregano (preferably still on the stem – much nicer than from the packet)
2 tsp fennel seeds (or more)
3 oil-packed anchovies, chopped
1 cup stock (I used chicken)
4 eggs
½ cup chopped parsley, to garnish
1 cup parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crusty bread and butter, to serve

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been very conservative with the herb estimates in this recipe. To be honest, I love the savoury flavour of fennel seeds and I sprinkle way more liberally than just two teaspoonfuls when I cook this – so knock yourself out.

METHOD:

1. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add salt and sugar and cook until soft and slightly golden.
2. Add the fresh and crushed tomatoes, passata, butter, herbs, fennel seeds, anchovies and stock and cook for 45 mins on medium heat. Stir occasionally so that sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer sauce to a medium frypan and spread evenly across the base. Crack eggs so the yolks are even across the sauce in the pan.
4. Cook for 2 minutes or until whites are just set on top (you can put a lid on top to cover if the whites aren’t setting). Make sure you continue to watch the eggs, as the perfect egg for this dish is runny yolk with just-set whites.
5. Sprinkle parmesan on top and remaining chopped parsley, and serve straight from the pan with warm crusty bread loaded with butter.

Lauren Bruce

Lauren started her writing career as a communications adviser before she realised she couldn’t ignore her passion for food and the arts any longer. So now she does both! Now editor of Gram Magazine, she has also contributed to Quest Magazine, Spook, the Herald Sun, Paper Sea and Junkee.