My family isn't Italian, but my friend's family is. When I was younger I absolutely loved going to her house and watching all the different things they made in the kitchen. The day before Thanksgiving the whole family would gather round the big dining room table and make a dozens of homemade ravioli for the big day. When they took a break from making ravioli they made Italian nachos, which was essentially tortilla chips topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese baked in the oven until the cheese melted, but to me it was genius! In the early morning after a sleepover, or in the middle of the afternoon for a quick lunch, they would make Italian Egg Sandwiches, just like the one I'm sharing today.
Giada's recipe is an open-face Italian Egg Sandwich, but my friend's family used to make their Italian Egg Sandwiches with two slices of bread, more like a grilled cheese, with a slice of mozzarella and maybe even pepperoni or salami. To me, this was a brilliant idea! Why hadn't I ever thought of it myself?
It's almost 40 years later and I still love going to their house, seeing all the amazing things that come out of their kitchen. It was always so clear that ewvery recipe was carefully considered and made with love, together. Enjoyed, together. In my opinion, that's how it should be. Food is important. It should be made as a family and enjoyed as a family.
So here is a delicious Italian Egg Sandwich that can be enjoyed as a breakfast, light lunch, or a snack. You could go with a jarred sauce, but I don't think that you should. It is much more gratifying, and delicious, to make the Simple Tomato Sauce that is shared below.
Italian Egg Sandwich
Adapted from Food Network
from Giada De Laurentiis
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large egg
salt and pepper
1 slice rustic white bread (1/2" thick)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1/4 cup warm Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows,
or store-bought chunky marinara sauce, drained of excess liquid
Simple Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
salt and black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons butter, optional
For the Italian Egg Sandwich: Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy small skillet over medium heat. Crack the egg into the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the white is firm and the yolk is almost set, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, toast the bread until golden brown. Rub the garlic over the toast. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Spoon the drained marinara sauce over the Parmesan. Top with the egg. Place the open-faced sandwich on a plate and serve.
Simple Tomato Sauce: In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.