An Easter Monday breakfast for you all, or indeed a light supper for tonight. I posted a similar recipe a few months back, for eggs baked with prosciutto and potato: this is along the same lines, with the gorgeous fat butter beans providing some sustenance and depth to the dish. Remember to make sure your oven is preheated, and to keep an eye on the time: overcooking will result in rubbery eggs, and no-one likes a rubbery egg!
I use a teaspoon of the Geo Watkins anchovy sauce in the tomato mix. Often, I use whole anchovy fillets, but sometimes I am after an almost imperceptible anchovy flavour, and this sauce does the trick: all it provides is that umami depth to the tomatoes rather than an anchovy flavour. Use soft goats’ cheese too, rather than one with a rind, as it is wonderfully subtle and giving.
Preheat oven to 280 degrees Celsius
For the tomato sauce:
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, microplaned
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp Geo Watkins anchovy sauce
1 tsp Maldon salt
Good grinding black pepper
Handful of chopped basil leaves
For the rest of the dish:
1 tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
Handful chopped basil and parsley
100g goats’s cheese
¼ cup parmesan, grated
Fresh herbs, chopped, to serve
If you haven’t any to hand, make the tomato sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Bring the heat up, and add the tomatoes, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and salt, and keep stirring on a high heat: you want most of the water to evaporate through the cooking process, and you can speed this up by upping the heat, but ensuring the tomatoes don’t stick to the pan too much. Add the anchovy sauce, and keep frying, and stirring, for another 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the butter beans, and stir well for about two minutes or so. Then, remove from the heat, and stir in the basil and pepper. Ladle this sauce into an ovenproof dish. Make four holes, or dents in the mix, and in each one of these, crack an egg. Dot the broken up goats’ cheese in and around the sauce and eggs, and finally sprinkle the parmesan over the whole dish.
Bake at 180 degrees for 5-6 minutes: remember, you don’t want to overdo the eggs!
Serve on fresh spinach leaves, or on toast, or just on its own.