Hardly a new recipe but after two decades of living in Rome I have taken the rationality and structural themes of Italian cooking and applied them to a very satisfying dish.

Served with Radicchio al Forno I don’t know of an easier, more satisfying lunch or supper.

eggs

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of crusty Italian bread with a soft chewy inside
  • Two large fresh eggs per person
  • Prime quality extra virgin olive oil

One must be very awake when making this dish. Multi-tasking will cause errors.
Carve slices of bread that are slightly thicker than what you imagine the height of the egg yolk will be. Err on the generous side.
If the bread is a large loaf you can make two perfectly round holes in the slices equidistant from the sides and each other, again, slightly larger than what you imagine the size of the egg yolks will be. Make sure there are no shards of bread interrupting your round holes as later on you will regret not removing them. Do this with care and focus.

chickens in a nest

You now will see that the slices of bread resemble pig snouts.

Heat up a well-seasoned large cast iron pan, add some oil to coat the bottom then turn the heat to medium. Once evenly heated, place slices of bread in the pan and let one side come to a golden brown. Once done on the first side, flip the slices of bread. Carefully break the eggs and slowly drop them into the holes of the bread. The egg whites will scatter while the yolks should stay safely in the hole (this is where the shards of bread interrupting the round hole will ruin everything and puncture the yolk so no texting while you are making these). Once the second side is golden brown carefully lift the slices of bread with a spatula and gently drop them back into the pan upside-down. Cook until the egg white is sealed on the second side. Lift them out of the pan and onto dinner plates. Salt and pepper them. Serve immediately. A simply perfect, easy meal.

chickens in a nest