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Gyspy Eggs, Peas and (basil) Leaves!

Baked eggs, with spicy ground pork, tomato sauce, peas, opal and genovese basil.

I love my baked egg dishes; I needn’t recap why. This dish was inspired from a photo and recipe I saw in Jamie Oliver’s wonderful magazine. I didn’t have chorizo, but I was in possession of some spicy ground pork from a farm out in Herndon. Lovely as it sounded, I–really–didn’t want to make the roasted tomato sauce. In my Siberia, I had squirreled away a raw tomato sauce I made a month ago when trying to replicate the glorious pizza margarita I had at Osteria Mozza this spring in Los Angeles.

I cooked the ground pork in a skillet and added the defrosted, uncooked tomato sauce which quickly became a cooked tomato sauce. A slow simmer for 20-25 minutes thickened it up nicely. I defrosted a handful of frozen peas (one of those vegetables where I deviate from my ‘fresh’ world) and tossed them into the sauce. I lightly oiled the individual gratin dishes, placed the cooked (let it cool!) pork mixture in the base, cracked two eggs atop each mound of pork and threw them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees–really, until the whites turn white and the yolk is still giggly and will likely be runny once a fork pierces it.

I toasted some whole wheat bread I purchased from the Bloomingdale Farmers Market (Ah! I forgot the vendor. Will update later. The bread was rather remarkable) and served the crispy slices alongside the eggs.  A lovely meal though not necessarily appropriate for a blazing hot summer Sunday. Thankfully, we were all safely ensconced in my air conditioned cave.

Alira’s Gypsy-Style Baked Eggs
Serves 4

This is my version. Here’s Jamie’s.

1 pound of spicy-ground pork
1-2 handfuls of peas (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups of raw tomato sauce (see below)
8 fresh eggs
1 handful of freshly-torn opal and genovese basil

1. Cook the pork in a skillet until its pink hue goes ‘buh-bye.’

2. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 2o-25 minutes. Until thick. Remove from heat and cool.

3. Toss in the peas. Stir.

4. With a small bit of olive oil, oil 4 individual gratin dishes.

5. Place a few generous spoonfuls of the pork mixture into each gratin dish.

7. Crack two eggs atop each mound of pork.

8. Place on a baking dish in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Remove once the whites of the eggs turn white.

9. Season each egg with fresh-cracked pepper and salt. Sprinkle each dish with basil. Spritz with olive oil and serve.

Uncooked Tomato Sauce
Saveur Magazine

1 28-oz. can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil (I used 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil)
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 a grated medium onion

Blitz in a food processor.  Season with salt and pepper.

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