In a week I leave for Tuscany, home to my Florence. I’ll be guiding two food focused tours and setting up some new exciting ventures for a.ferrarikitchen. Whenever possible I’ll stop for paste all crema, macchiato, schiacciata al prosciutto, sprits and aperitivo with friends and family.
Feeling so close to home my soul is demanding the foundation of my existence in food and I’d have to say this most definitely translates into Uova al pomodoro (eggs in tomato) that my Babbo (father) used to make us on the fire most Sunday nights for dinner.
He would go down to the cantina (our cellar), get the pomarola (our tomato preserve) made from our orto ( vegetable garden), then we’d go to our pollaio (chicken coop) and search for fresh eggs amongst the dozens of puccckkk puck pucking chickens. Then into to the house to make a fire in the stalla (the steeple/converted living room), Babbo would place the padella lunga ( cast iron pan with a long handle) near the flames with some olive oil from our trees and a finely chopped onion, dare I say it…from our garden. Once everything was soft and slightly caramelized he’d add the pomarola and let it simmer, then with his huge hands he’d crack the eggs and drop them into the red bubbling pot and some of the yolks would always rupture as they landed. My Babbo would look at me and say ‘Annalisa sono uova all’ignorante!” (Annalisa these are ruff style eggs!) and as he covered the pan smiling at me I always thought he broke the eggs intentionally to conjure this unique uova all’ignorante dish for us. When the eggs where ready we sat on pillows around a square low wooden table by the fire in the stalla dipping bread into the eggs in Sunday family communion.
1 tbs of olive oil
I clove of garlic crushed open
One red onion
2 cans of the best tomatoes (I use Mutti )
and 300 ml of passata (I use Mutti)
pinch of salt
½ tbs of sugar
6 organic eggs
1 grilled eggplant
2 Tbl of parmigiano
a bit of goats cheese
Garnish of parsley and lemon rind
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic in a deep pan or cast iron pot, allow to infuse then remove garlic. Add the onion and cook gently until soft (if you get a few dark bits its fine - this is flavor). Add the canned tomatoes and the passata to the olive oil with the sugar and salt and allow to cook for at least 20 minutes. Once it’s ready, make little holes in the sauce with a spoon and crack the eggs in them one at a time so they are evenly distributed in the pot, cover and allow to cook about 5 minutes at low heat. Its best to check them often since you want to keep the eggs a bit runny and undercooked (since they will keep cooking in the hot tomato once you take the pot off the fire and bring it to the table).
When ready, top with whatever you like. This time I had some left over grilled eggplant so I shredded it over the top with goat cheese, parmigiano, fresh parsley from the garden and some lemon rind….buonissimo!