Monday, December 24, 2012

Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce, Spinach and Mascarpone

There’s something rewarding about having the time to make a really exceptional breakfast. Hopefully, the rush of the last few days before Christmas will yield way to a day off, a time to admire your gifts and sit back and enjoy life. And to enjoy this recipe for a breakfast dish which I found in Elle Décor, of all places, last year.

It will take you a good half hour to make but it’s not terribly labor intensive. The time involved is in cooking the tomato sauce, which doesn’t involve much tending and baking the eggs in 450 degree oven which requires only a judicious look in every so often to make sure the eggs are cooked.

 The original recipe called for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven but this, even with our really reliable wall oven, just was not enough time. It’s easier just to tell it’s done when the egg whites are solid. By all means serve this with some buttered brioche or challah toast to dip into the yellow yolks and sop up the tomato sauce. And, if you’re fresh out of mascarpone, I’ll be the last one to tell anyone that you substituted cream cheese you nuked in the microwave for 20 seconds. I made this for two but you can easily double or triple the recipe. So here goes:

Recipe for Baked Eggs with Tomato Sauce, Spinach and Mascarpone

1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
1/2 bunch spinach
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 eggs
3 tbsp. mascarpone

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
2. In a nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion in the olive oil, covered, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and juice and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes (The resulting tomato sauce can be made ahead and set aside)
3. Wash thoroughly and remove stems from spinach. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add spinach; cover and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.

4. Divide tomato sauce among two 8-inch gratin dishes or ovenproof bowls. Using the back of a large spoon, make two indentations in the sauce in each dish. Crack an egg into each indentation and season with salt and pepper. Spoon about ¼ cup wilted spinach around eggs in each dish. Bake until egg whites are set but egg yolks are still (slightly) runny, 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and top each dish with a heaping tablespoon of mascarpone. Serves 2.


  1. May you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year. I appreciate you very much. Thank you for all you do.

    All my best,

    1. Dear Katie, You cannot imagine how much that means to me! You make all the effort worthwhile. I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and all the happiness in the world in 2013. All my best, Monte