Italians eat quite simply at breakfast time, coffee is essential and generally in the form of a quick espresso, caffe al latte, or cappuccino. Accompanying the morning coffee ritual might be a cornetto, a few cookies, or a small roll with jam – nothing at all elaborate. The lavish breakfast buffets at Italian hotels are intended for istranieri, foreigners.
Many Italians will stop at the neighborhood bar to take their colazione or breakfast, often standing to avoid an additional fee for sitting. In Italy one will see the familiar bar sign everywhere; these are generally family-run establishments serving coffee, snacks, small sandwiches, wine and other aperitivi. A visit to the bar, either in the morning for a coffee or later in the day for an aperitivo, provides a brief social gathering spot for the locals.
Uova al Pomodoro by Italian standards makes for a quick and simple dinner. It can be prepared at an instant, requiring few ingredients and hits the spot. All that being said after a lifetime of being immersed into the Italian way of life in California as well as in Italy, it remains La Levitt’s favorite choice for breakfast.
I generally have some marinara sauce on hand, or at least a few cans of San Marzino tomatoes in the pantry; and who doesn’t have a dozen eggs in the fridge? Some toasted country bread and you are off to a wonderful start of the day or perhaps an easy Sunday night dinner.
- 2 cups of Marinara Sauce
- 4 fresh eggs, preferably organic
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 fresh basil sprigs
- 4 toasted slices of country bread
- Crack the eggs into four separate ramekins or small cups, set aside near the cooktop.
- Heat the two cups of marinara sauce in a medium sized skillet over medium heat until it gently simmers. Once the sauce is ready using a spatula or spoon, make four wells in the sauce. Gently drop the eggs, one at a time in each of the wells. Season the eggs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cook for about one minute, cover the skillet and continue cooking for two additional minutes. Have two warm bowls, the toasted bread and basil sprigs alongside the skillet.
- Remove the lid to see that the white of the egg has solidified, however the yolk must still be runny. Turn off the heat.
- Using a large spoon remove the eggs one at a time, placing two in each of the bowls. Plate the tomato sauce in the bowls surrounding the eggs. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of basil and two slices of toasted country bread. Serve immediately.