Saturday, May 08, 2010

Baked Eggs Italian-Style

POINTS® Value: 5

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 18 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Somewhere between a baked frittata and pastaless lasagna, this casserole is delicious with arugula salad or mixed greens.

4 cup(s) marinara sauce, store-bought
1/2 cup(s) basil, fresh, chopped (do not use dried basil)
8 large egg(s)
1 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pour the marinara sauce into a 9- X 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the chopped basil over the sauce.

Use the bottom of a small custard cup or a similarly sized glass to make 8 rounded indentations in the marinara sauce. Crack an egg into each of these indentations.

Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano and red pepper flakes over the tops of the eggs. Bake until the egg whites are set, the yolks are a bit runny and the cheese has melted, about 18 minutes. Serve by scooping eggs and sauce into individual bowls, using a large spoon. Yields about 1 egg and 1/3 cup sauce per serving.

Eggs baked in the oven offer a wonderful creaminess, almost better than those cooked on top of the stove. However, the oven's constant, ambient heat can toughen the eggs quite a bit — so a little fat (as here, in the shredded cheese) protects the delicate whites and keeps them tender.

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