One day a few weeks ago, I had unfortunately run out of eggs. It was raining outside and my car was in for service so there was no option to run out and get some. I felt very jittery and uncomfortable for the whole day, wondering whether maybe I should call my mum to drop some off for me? “That’s such a silly idea” I thought to myself, “she would think I was crazy!” But in actual fact, I really couldn’t live without eggs in my life.
Eggs are just the most versatile, delicious and nutritious ingredient that is necessary in the pantry. Yuye and I go through a lot of eggs, although probably not as much as those of you who make a lot of desserts. Sometimes we just like it whole, soft boiled with some salt and pepper or sometimes a fried egg on top of delicious fried noodles, but my eggs are always with gooey or runny yolks.
After I made my baked eggs recipe a couple of weeks ago, I realised there were actually many similar baked eggs recipes on fellow bloggers’ sites popping up everywhere! It’s sort of becoming a delicious fad.
I actually made another version of this yummy recipe using quite different ingredients. I think this one tasted better, although not as substantial (just soak it up with toasted bread and that’s all taken care of).
If you feel it’s not substantial enough, add in roughly 4 large potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks) like the other baked eggs recipe and follow the cooking instructions there. Also I’ve used pancetta here as it was readily available but you can use any type of cured meat such as Spanish serrano or prosciutto, or you can use a thickly sliced chorizo instead.
The bocconcini can be exchanged for cheddar or other grated cheese or can be omitted altogether (but believe me, it tastes better with cheese…).
Baked eggs with spinach, pancetta & bocconcini
• 2 large free range eggs
• 2 handfuls of spinach, roughly torn or chopped, with a few pieces spare as garnish
• 4 pieces of thinly cut pancetta (you can ask your deli or supermarket to cut these thinly)
• 6 small bocconcini/mozarella, roughly broken
• 1 large tomato cut into wedges
• half brown onion, diced
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 3 tbsp vegetable stock (or 1 tbsp vegetable paste)
• 1 tbsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Olive oil
• Serve with pieces of Turkish or other good quality fresh bread, lightly toasted
1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
2. In the mean time, heat a flat pan to medium high with olive oil, lightly fry onion and garlic until transparent.
3. Add in tomatoes, canned tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
4. Add in smoked paprika, oregano and vegetable stock, make sure you don’t over salt your dish as the pancetta can be quite salty. This is when you add in your potatoes if you wish to have them in the recipe.
5. Add in washed and torn spinach, give it a quick stir through (no need to really cook it here) and take fry pan off the heat.
6. Transfer contents into 2 oven safe pots. Create a small well in the centre of the contents and crack 1 egg into each pot.
7. Bake in the oven for roughly 10 minutes or until the egg white is solid white.
8. Take the pots out and put bocconcini on top, put back in the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the bocconcini has melted.
9. Remove from the oven. Add roughly torn sliced pancetta on top, season with salt and pepper to taste, a drizzle of olive oil and a small handful of roughly chopped fresh spinach as garnish. Serve while hot with toasted Turkish bread.
I think I liked this version more than the potato version, although it’s just my personal preference. This recipe tasted lighter and fresher but of course less substantial without the potatoes.
Question time: What’s one most important thing in your pantry that you can’t live without?