Monday 108: Economical Eats

Monday, 12 June 2017

We love to cook around here, and we love to eat good, flavorful food.  Sometimes keeping in budget and eating what is on hand becomes a bit of a challenge, and that is where the internet comes in hand, or a good cookbook.  Frankly, a lot of cookbooks are attractive, but in reality, I don’t find that I want to use that many of the recipes.  Sometimes the ingredients are unrealistic or too specialized, but when I see a recipe I like, there is one thing that can be done:  adapt!

Today’s recipe is not an adaptation; rather, it is a Mediterranean dish that has its variants throughout all the borders – north, east, south.  It’s made of eggs and tomatoes and peppers and onions.  What could go wrong with that combination?  Some people add cheese to it, such as goat cheese or feta.  You could add small blobs of mozzarella or whatever.  I added some blobs of ricotta.

So . . . let me present today’s dish!  We had it for dinner last night, and this morning for breakfast, with fresh eggs added as the tomato stew warmed up over the stove top.  It’s really good by itself, or with a nice piece of chunky, crusty Italian bread.


  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 bell peppers (green, orange, or yellow contrast nicely to the tomatoes)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed, or 2-3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1-2 tsp. turmeric
  • powdered chile or flakes – add to your own taste for heat
  • 1 28-oz can of Cento San Marzano plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, or 6 large garden tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. In an ovenproof pan, add olive oil, heat it up.  Add onions and peppers; saute until tender – about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, chili, and turmeric; continue to stir about a minute to let the flavors out and it becomes fragrant.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, cover, and let reduce – about 10-15 minutes.  Check it periodically to make sure that the mixture is not sticking to your pan.  Check your seasoning for heat.  Add salt and pepper, stir in, and remove from heat once the sauce is to your desired thickness.
  5. Make wells for each egg in the pan.  Break whole eggs into the wells. If you are using any cheese in your dish, this is when you add it.  Place small pieces around the eggs in the tomato sauce.
  6. Place in oven and bake about 10-12 minutes, until eggs set to desired degree – from runny yolks to solid, depending on your choice.
  7. Pour into bowls to serve, allowing 1-2 eggs per person.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.



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