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Eggs in tomato sauce

I’m obsessed with Eggs in tomato sauce, and all the variations of it. It is, without doubt, one of my very favourite things to eat, something that we turn to again and again when the cupboards are almost bare. So nutritious and easy, and the kids really enjoy it too.

All you need, really, to make it are fresh eggs, tinned tomatoes, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Ideally some fresh, crusty bread to soak the sauce up with. And I always love to sprinkle on fresh herbs – this time chilli too. But the kids like it plain. I do a Moorish version, which has paprika and cumin in. And also one with crispy chorizo in, that’s divine if you fancy a special lunch.

This dish is all about the simple tomato sauce. Cracking eggs into it once it’s ready (or once you’ve reheated it if you’re taking some from a batch) makes it into a ‘dish’. This is my go-to tomato sauce. I adore it. It may require long cooking, but it couldn’t be any quicker to prepare. The proportions of it change from time to time. It’s basically LOADS of garlic, sizzled in LOADS of extra virgin olive oil with canned tommies. Then I generously salt it. That’s it. I tend to use the ratio of 1 tin: 3 cloves: 3 tablespoons. Roughly. You can cook the sauce for less time – the shortest time I’ve given it before is about 20 minutes – it’s still good but it’s more watery.

The simplicity of the sauce appeals to be SO MUCH, especially as there are no onions in there as I loathe chopping them. I use it as a base sauce for pizzas (making these later today as my son is having a friend round for tea), for Melanzane di parmigiana, over pasta – and for this too! It’s worth batch making it and then you’ve got some in the fridge to use when you’re too tired to cook from scratch.

Serves: 2 adults and 2 kids 
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours
Total time: 1 1/2 hours approx (unless you have a batch of sauce ready, in which case it’s 5 minutes from start to finish)


My Go-to Tomato Sauce:
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Large pinch (a scant teaspoon) of salt

6 eggs – I tend to use 2 per adult and 1 per child.

To serve: 
Suggestions: drizzle of extra virgin, coriander, parsley, basil, fresh chilli, yoghurt, parmesan, crispy chorizo, bacon, pinch of paprika and/or ground cumin… or wilt some spinach into the sauce before serving – the list is endless!


  1. Chop your garlic pretty fine and heat in warm oil over a heavy bottom frying pan until the garlic is sizzling gently but not colouring. 
  2. Before it browns, add the tommies. Salt generously, and simmer for about an hour or more, covered. If you want to reduce it quicker, cook with the lid off, but be prepared to add a splash of water if it gets too ‘jammy’ or starts sticking. 
  3. When your sauce is done, crack your eggs into it and cover until they’re cooked. 

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