I love the richness of a true, Spanish-style sofrito – that beautiful meld of onions, garlic, tomatoes and olive oil graced by just a touch of smoked paprika and fresh herbs from the garden. It’s easy to spoon a dollop of sofrito over chicken as it bakes, or blend a little with homemade mayonnaise to spread against whole-grain sourdough bread for sandwiches.
From time to time, when I’m looking for a simple but wholesome and easy breakfast, I’ll line mini cocottes or ramekins with a slice of ham, spoon in a bit of sofrito and crack an egg into them. They bake a little less than ten minutes, and then breakfast is done. That’s enough time to grab a quick shower, get dressed or rouse the kids from bed.
Baked Eggs with Ham and Sofrito
For the Sofrito
- 1 large yellow onion chopped coarsely
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups pureed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- finely ground sea salt
For the Eggs
- butter for greasing the cocottes
- 6 slices deli ham
- 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Puree the onion and garlic together in a high-speed blender (we use this one) until smooth.
- Warm the olive oil in a wide braising dish (like this one) over medium heat, then pour in the onion and garlic puree. Cook over medium heat the onion and garlic release their fragrance, and begin to color. Pour in the pureed tomato, and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir in the smoked paprika and drop in the herbs. Simmer, uncovered, until the flavors marry and the sauce thickens, about twenty minutes. Pluck out the herbs, adjust seasoning with salt, and transfer to a bowl.
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Butter your ramekins or cocottes (we use these mini cocottes), then line each cocotte with a slice of ham. Evenly distribute the sofrito into each of the cocottes, over the ham, and crack an egg over the sofrito. Bake until the white is set, but the yolk remains soft – about 8 minutes. Top with freshly chopped parsley and serve.