Back in Dave’s bachelor days, “pasta and red” was one of his standard dinners. He’d cook and drain pasta, put the pasta back in the pot, dump jarred tomato sauce over it, and stir it all up until it was warmish. Pasta and red.
These days, I’m always insisting that ‘pasta and red’ is not a phrase that should be associated with actual home-cooked tomato sauce. Whether I’m quickly sautéing some garlic to make a simple sauce with canned diced tomatoes, mixing up vodka sauce, or simmering a slow-cooked bolognese, Dave wants to call them all pasta and red. No! A 5-hour bolognese should not be compared to oversweetened overcooked jarred sauce.
I like all types of tomato sauces, even jarred ‘red’, but when I smelled this simmering pan of tomatoes and garlic and realized that I was basically making spaghetti sauce to serve with eggs for breakfast, I started to worry – yes, I like tomato sauce with pasta, but would it translate to eggs and breakfast?
Yup. The rich egg balances the acidic tomato sauce, and the thick slice of whole wheat challah on the bottom soaked up every bit of flavor. Eggs and red – it works.
If you just want to coarsely chop your tomatoes, stick a pair of scissors into the opened can of tomatoes and snip away.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red or white wine (optional)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped or pureed
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
4 large eggs
4 slices toasted country bread
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil, garlic, and pepper flakes over medium heat until the garlic and pepper is sizzling. Add the wine and let it simmer until it becomes syrupy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.
2. Break the eggs into individual small cups. Make wells or indentations in the sauce, and gently transfer the eggs from the cups to the wells; season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the whites are set.
3. Spoon a portion of sauce with an egg over toasted bread. Top with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese and serve immediately.