One of my favorite things about cooking is being creative. Sometimes, as a college student with a limited budget, you have to make do with what you have. While that doesn’t sound as exciting as fancy braised short ribs or say, homemade raviolis, this lack of resources paired with a desire to eat something delicious can have some very good outcomes.
Saturday afternoon I was in the mood to try something new, but since I haven’t bought groceries for a while (save for a big bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar chips yesterday….) I had to be resourceful. That is how this recipe was born. I used things that I already had in the fridge and pantry and had been meaning to use up, and kind of just experimented as I went along. It turned out to be a really good (and dare I say it…almost healthy?) lunch.
Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce Over Israeli Couscous
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided into single tablespoons
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes, in juice
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 generous pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup kale, torn into pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons prepared pesto
- grated Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
Start, as usual, with your onion and garlic. Put one tablespoon olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft.
Meanwhile, begin the couscous. If you haven’t tried Israeli couscous before I really recommend it; the texture is a lot more substantial than that of normal couscous. To cook it, begin by toasting the couscous in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Do this for about five minutes, until the grains are nice and brown and toasty.
When the couscous is toasted, pour in the water and bring the mixture to a boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Return your attention to the onions and garlic. When they are soft and fragrant, add the tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a boil. Add the wine, sugar, salt, pepper, rosemary and kale to the pan, and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes.
Back to the couscous. By this time, the water should be absorbed. Remove the couscous from heat, squeeze the lemon juice on top, and let stand.
Now, crack the eggs (gently!) into the pan on top of the tomatoes, making a little nest.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for just about five minutes. You don’t want the eggs to get too hard. After five minutes, uncover the pan, remove from heat, and let sit for two minutes.
It’s time to plate your lunch! Put the couscous on a plate and top with the tomato sauce and an egg. Take a little dollop of the pesto and place it on top of the eggs.
Sprinkle the cheese on top. I used a lot, because that’s what I do. Cut into the egg and watch the yolk run. Drool. Dig in.