In the mornings I find myself, more often than not, blankly staring inside the refrigerator trying to sort out a collective breakfast amongst all the random leftovers we always seem to have. Sometimes it’s a total flop. But sometimes, and I mean on a rare occasion, when we have more than a half eaten turkey sandwich and a near empty jar of peanut butter, sometimes breakfast comes out a winner. This my dear friends, happened upon one of those rare occasions.
With sleep still in my eyes, I snatched up the leftover pasta sauce from dinner the night before, along with some precooked pork sausage (from god knows when, but hey, it smelled fine! Just bein’ real here). I spotted the spinach and mushrooms in the veggie drawer and viola. Italian baked eggs it was!
What I love about this breakfast dish is not only its sheer simplicity, but the incredible flavors that come out of such basic ingredients! These baked eggs are creamy from the tomato sauce, hearty from the sausage, and slightly spicy from the red pepper flakes if you chose to include them. The recipe serves 2 individual portions, but could easily be doubled to serve a crowd. With only around 10 minutes of prep work and a short visit to the oven, you can have a delicious Italian breakfast in under half an hour. Let me spare you from having to unwillingly scarf down that leftover burrito from last night. Or was it the night before?…
Italian Baked Eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup of your favorite pasta sauce. I like Mezetta’s Marinara Sauce
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
precooked italian sausage, crumbled
1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
raw milk cheddar (may also use mozzarella) for topping
red pepper flakes for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 individual ramekins with cooking spray.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened. Transfer to a separate plate and drain liquid.
3. In the same skillet, wilt the spinach. This should only take a minute or so. Transfer to a separate plate and drain the liquid very well! I do this by squeezing the spinach, once slightly cooled, with paper towels.
4. Mix together pasta sauce, coconut milk, and tomato paste in a small bowl and add about 1 tablespoon to the bottom of each ramekin, spreading it around.
5. Layer the crumbled sausage, tomato slices, spinach, and mushrooms into the ramekins, diving evenly among them. Pour the sauce mixture over the tops and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Raise the temperature to 400, Crack an egg onto the tops of each and bake for an additional 7-8 minutes until the whites are set and yolk has reached desired doneness.
7. Remove from oven and top with cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired. Let cool slightly and serve.