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Eggs Over Easy with Peperonata

Peperonata is a favorite Italian preparation of sweet peppers, onions and tomatoes, cooked down to a chunky sauce. Here, it is served as a base for eggs over easy. When the soft yolk is broken, it enriches the sauce. You can also pair peperonata with polenta, grilled meats or rice. For an extra flourish, garnish each plate with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallots 
  • 6 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped, with juices 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste 
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • 8 eggs 

Directions:

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, the 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and stir to mix. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is very tender and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes more. Cover and set aside.

In another large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the butter foams, break the eggs into the pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Reduce the heat to low and season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks begin to firm around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, turn the eggs over and cook just until the yolks form an opaque film, 30 to 45 seconds.

Divide the peperonata among 4 warmed plates, spreading it to make a bed. Top each serving with 2 eggs. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).