Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Sausage and Basil

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As you probably know, by now, I’m a pasta-loving fool. My blog has 78 recipes for pasta and risotto in its archives, so you know I take my pasta-eating seriously.

Sadly, my pasta love is now at odds with my spring-time desire to get in shape. I’ve been sticking to my gym routine for two months now, and though I still eat pasta and pastries and all the other naughty P foods on weekends, I’m trying to focus on a healthier P-word during the week: protein. The challenge I made for myself was this: transform the kind of sauce you’d love to eat over pasta on a typical weeknight into a protein-rich dinner that’s every bit as satisfying but way better for your beach bod. The secret? Instead of pasta, use eggs.

The red sauce can be any red sauce that you like, though I recommend using sausage to give the sauce body. Start like this: take 6 links of sausage (hot or Italian or a combination) out of their casing and add them to a pan coated with a thin layer of olive oil.

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Turn up the heat and as it begins to sizzle, break the sausage apart with a wooden spoon. Eventually the sausage should be browned all over:

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At that point, push the sausage to the side and add a chopped yellow onion and a pinch of salt:

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When the onion starts to take on some color, push it to the side and add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the hot olive oil–allowing it to toast a bit–and 3 to 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced to the onions:

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Now stir that all around:

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And add two cans of San Marzano tomatoes (note: this makes a lot, I was feeding three; if you want less, you can easily halve this recipe, but why would you? Don’t you want leftovers?):

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Add a pinch of salt, break the tomatoes up a bit with your spoon, bring to a boil, lower to an active simmer and allow to cook down for about 30 minutes or so. You can also add some shredded basil for that fresh garden flavor:

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After 30 minutes, it’ll look something like this:

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Taste for seasoning–it should taste pretty fantastic–and then ladle into as many bowls as you need for the people you’re serving (note, these should be oven-proof bowls though, if I’m being honest, I didn’t really check):

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Crack three eggs into each bowl:

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Sprinkle with salt and bake in a 425 oven until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny:

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Grate some cheese on top (Parmesan, Pecorino, whatevs), add some shredded basil, and serve with toasted pita.

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Even the carb-obsessed among you have to admit that looks good. So, turns out if you’re craving pasta sauce but pasta is a no-no, all you have to do is crack a few eggs and you’re good. Take that, Jenny Craig!

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30 comments

  1. Anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes; though, if I’m being honest, my yolks were a little overdone. I was doing it this way because I was cooking for three: if it was just the two of us, I would cracked the eggs directly into the skillet, put a lid on and done it on the stovetop. You have more control that way!

  2. Adam, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and you’ve inspired me to create some pretty tasty dishes without set recipes, and have really influenced the way I approach cooking in general, so thank you! That said, I’m sorry that my first comment is not food related. I have the same all-clad skillet you do, and yours look positively gleaming in the first photo, and seems to get as beat up as mine does by the end. How do you get it back to sparkling after a meal like this?? No matter how much barkeeper’s friend I use, I can’t seem to get mine looking shiny again. What’s your secret?

  3. Hi Molly, thanks for your nice words about my blog! To be honest, I don’t do anything special: just wash the skillet with a sponge and lots of soapy water. If you want it to gleam, though, you could definitely get some Brillo pads… that’ll make it sparkle like the day you bought it.

  4. Hi Molly, thanks for your nice words about my blog! To be honest, I don’t do anything special: just wash the skillet with a sponge and lots of soapy water. If you want it to gleam, though, you could definitely get some Brillo pads… that’ll make it sparkle like the day you bought it.

  5. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of al dente spaghetti squash with pesto, cheese, basil, sauteed mushrooms, etc.

  6. Hi Adam. I am new to “Amateur Gourmet”. I had a look at this recipe and boy do I feel like cooking this now for my wife. Looks so tasty and easy to make. Not something that I heard anyone in South Africa has made yet.

  7. I will be reading your blog and having a look at what I have missed and hopefully be trying a few of the easy recipes. I will be looking for the meaty ones.

  8. Looks amazing! Shakshuka, like Topper said, is an Israeli dish is a riff on the same idea, just had it for lunch with a side of peppery arugula. Onions, garlic, olive oil, cumin (seeds and powder for me), pepper flakes, paprika with the canned tomatoes (fire roasted for extra yum). Poach the eggs in the sauce (or put in the oven). Serve over anything, but goes nicely on quinoa for more protein, or with pita as you’ve done with the Italian version.

  9. I add thinly sliced red pepper to the Shakshuka as well. I made it last night in fact and added chickpeas and feta cheese. Quite nice!

  10. That’s how i do it too. ‘Egg drop’ straight into the hot sauce will cook the eggs in a few minutes

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