My parents came to visit this past Sunday, and I was determined to make a fantastic brunch spread for all of us to share. Given I was relatively busy at work the previous week, I didn’t have a whole lot of prep time for this. Luckily, I had some pancetta in the fridge (leftover from my failed attempt to remake my pancetta and leek fettuccine for new pictures), and an extra can of diced tomatoes from when I had intended to make homemade salsa. Thus, the recipe for baked tomato, egg and pancetta spread was not only attainable, but possibly a focus for our brunch spread!
Now I am one of those people who loooove the idea of brunch, but I am admittedly not the biggest fan of breakfast food in general. However, brunch is more my speed considering it’s later in the day, lunch items can get involved, AND you can make it booze-y. What’s not to love?! I particularly enjoy occasions when everyone can try a little bit of everything; I think this may be more of a “girl thing” considering the social aspect it brings to the table, but it makes for a great time regardless. This baked tomato, egg and pancetta spread is perfect for sharing, and I think you’ll really enjoy this as the savory addition to your next brunch at home!
This recipe is based off of a few different versions I found on my Pinterest brunch board – of course – but I tried to make it my own, and it came together perfectly to create just the right amount for three of us to share. Pancetta, roasted tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and baked egg come together to create a decadent savory flavor, as well as a smooth, amazing texture atop crisp slices of french bread. You really could make this for any time of the day, but it really worked great for our occasion!
My only major side note is on the pancetta. I cooked mine on medium-low, allowed the fat to render, but then kept getting distracted with talking / looking at photos / etc., so it cooked much longer than I had originally intended. It turned out PERFECTLY, and I encourage you to go this route. I use the word “perfectly” to describe the pancetta once it takes on this gorgeous, deep reddish-brown color. It’s really a wonderful meat to cook while you’re tending to other dishes, and the rich flavor it adds to the baked tomato, egg and pancetta spread is unbeatable.
So, let the pancetta cook on a low heat for a while to really bring out the gorgeous color and texture it wants to add to this dish. You want to slowly cook it until it looks like it may be turning crispy, then remove it from the heat. Here is a link that I found to be pretty helpful in regards to buying the right pancetta and then cooking it appropriately! I hope the photo above, despite the poor quality, gives you an idea of the colors you’re aiming for. As always, please ask any questions you may have – and I hope you get to make this soon!
[my additional tips!]:
Actual Prep / cook time: 40 minutes
Clean-up difficulty: 2
Overall difficulty to make: 3
Overall satisfaction: 9
Price range? This dish is under $5 for two people.
What I would change next time? Nothing at all. I personally would add a little more heat, but it’s truly great just the way it is.
For your own version, I recommend:.
- Adjusting the heat to your liking!
© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3 slices pancetta (1/2 cup total, chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp. rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
- Slice all grape tomatoes in half. place each of them, center side up, onto a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over each individual tomato (just a drop!) and sprinkle all of them with cracked sea salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes until shriveled and roasted. Remove from oven and place to side.
- Over medium-low heat in a medium sauté pan, add 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and allow to heat through.
- Once oil is warmed, add pancetta and cook until the deep color of the pancetta comes through, and all fat is rendered. Roughly 10 minutes.
- Add minced garlic to sauté pan with pancetta, and cook until softened and fragrant (roughly 2-3 minutes). Once cooked to this point, add the roasted tomatoes, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Toss around to equally distribute all of the different components, then add one can of diced tomatoes (and the liquid!)
- Bring this all to a boil, let it boil about a minute, and then reduce back down to medium-low. Allow this took cook for about 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a small, oven-safe casserole dish.
- Crack two eggs on top of the tomato mixture and pop into the oven at 350 degrees.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then serve hot with crusty french bread (straight out of the oven)!