Ratty Spanish Eggs



A couple of months back, I had breakfast at Providores on Marylebone High Street with my friend Esther, she of the highly-addictive Recipe Rifle. Spurred on by her advice (I wasn’t going to argue with a pregnant lady) and a few reviews I’d read, I plumped for a cortado – my new favourite coffee – and Turkish eggs, baked in spicy tomatoes and swimming under hot chilli butter and yogurt. They were utterly delicious and if you’re a fan of soldier-style dipping I urge you to go along and try them.

Crawling my way over the threshold after a rare hour in the gym yesterday lunchtime I was famished, yet devoid of inspiration. Honestly, I would have just eaten four pieces of toast if I’d been really stuck… However, with one egg left in the carton and a bowl of leftover ratatouille to finish off I decided to put them together.

This is more a formula than a recipe could be applied to various mushes; stews, bolognaise sauces, curries etc. Just dollop a couple of spoonfuls of whatever’s left over into an ovenproof pot or ramekin, make a comfortable nook for the egg in the middle with the back of a spoon and crack the egg into it. Drizzle over a little oil and a spice of choice – here it was paprika as I was feeling a little Spanish (Madonna’s La Isla Bonita happened to be playing on the radio). Oh, and some scrapings of a heel of Grana Padano before baking it at about 190C for 12-15 minutes or golden and slightly inflated on the top.

I ate mine with toasted wholemeal pitta, sliced into soldiers – or rather, soldados – to dip. Rather a smug working-from-home lunch I thought, when it could have so easily been Heinz Cream of Tomato…


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