This dish is a go to when I’ve got nothing left in the pantry, and is one of the simplest, but tastiest meals you can cook. The secret is plenty of oil, butter and fennel seeds and plenty of herbs, so don’t skimp on these. Go overboard if you have to. Lots of people ask me what it’s called, but I don’t really know. Each country has their own variation on this dish - in the Middle East it’s shakshouka; in Italy, uove al pomodoro. I guess if you had to give it a name you could call it a poor man’s pasta sauce, but for less than $5 you cant go wrong!
4 good lugs of olive oil
A small nub of butter
1 brown onion, finely diced
4-5 garlic cloves, finely diced
Chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 can Tinned tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes (not essential, but the more fresh ingredients you can cook with the better)
½ can of tinned lentils (use a sieve to wash out all that rancid juice their preserved in)
A healthy pinch of salt and pepper
Pinch of sugar
Whatever herbs you have (dried or fresh – basil, parsley, oregano and most other Mediterranean ones work best)
4 poached eggs (simmer in water for 3 minutes with salt and vinegar)
4 bread rolls or 8 slices of bread
Heat the oil and melt the butter on medium heat. Add a sprinkle of fennel seeds, and when these start to brown and move around the pan you know the oil is hot enough.
Sauté the onion until it turns clear (should be around 5-7 minutes)
Add garlic and chili and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and turn the heat down to medium low. Add half a cup of water once it begins to simmer, and then sprinkle in the salt and pepper, sugar, and a few herbs
Poach the eggs and toast the bread (unless it’s fresh)
Serve with fresh herbs (if you have them). Scoop the sauce with the bread and away you go.