flamenco eggs with tomato & serrano ham

This is what you might call Spain on a plate, a dish of everything we love about Spanish cooking. I have added green beans and peas; you could also add sliced, cooked new potatoes or the big butter beans called judion.

I first tried this in Cadiz and wasn't knocked out by it, but I love eggs with tomato sauce, so I did a bit of research and came up with my own version.

serves 4 people

4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
80g serrano hum, chopped
1 tsp hot smoked paprika (pimenton picante)
8 large tomatoes (about 750g), skinned and chopped, or 2 x 400g tins of peeled plum tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste
75g peas, fresh or frozen
100g fine green beans
4 eggs
12 slices of chorizo sausage
1 red pepper, roasted and skinned, cut into 8 strips, or use peppers from a jar
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve

for the griddled bread
4-8 thick slices of bread
1 clove of garlic, halved
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a shallow casserole about 28cm in diameter over a medium-low heat. Cook the onion and garlic until soft — about 5-10 minutes. Add the ham and paprika, fry for 3 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and pulpy — about 10-15 minutes.

Cook the peas for 3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water; frozen peas do not require precooking. Cook the green beans for 4 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water.

Heat the oven to 180C (200C non-fan), unless you choose to finish cooking on the hob.

Scatter the peas and beans over the tomato sauce. Break the eggs into the sauce. Arrange the chorizo slices around the eggs, and the red pepper strips over and around the eggs. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks still soft — about 10-15 minutes, checking after 10. Alternatively, cook on the hob over a medium heat with a lid on the pan for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the bread with the garlic, brush with the olive oil and griddle it on a ridged pan or in a frying pan. Scatter the chopped parsley over the dish and serve with the griddled bread.




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