Outside of 5pm on Friday, Sunday sauce is my favorite part of the weekend. It’s everything that goes into making a big pot of meaty (or not), savory (or not), hearty, well-balanced (always) sauce to mix into pasta, spoon over polenta, or simply eat by itself with a hunk of charred bread. Arguably, the most important ingredients – time and patience – in slow cooking is what makes the result all the more satisfying. This week’s Sunday sauce was a Breakfast Bolognese, drizzled with Maine maple syrup and topped with a poached egg.
Shakshuka seems to be all the rage recently;it’s popping up in all my food feeds. Historically, this Israeli dish is made of eggs cooked in a pool of spicy tomato sauce. There are numerous variations and it’s the type of dish you can put as much or as little energy into it as you want. I love foods that fall on that spectrum because, quite frankly, there are days I don’t have the energy to do much more than pry open a can of tomato sauce and dump it in a pan. And there are Sundays when I want blipping sauce on the stovetop to be the soundtrack to my afternoon.
So this Breakfast Bolognese is inspired by a little shakshuka, its classic namesake, and my love for savory breakfast foods.
The Breakfast Bolognese Cast:
Salty pork breakfast sausage
Savory slow roasted tomatoes
Umami-rich tomato paste
Sweet drizzle of maple syrup
Creamy-yolked poached egg
Herby notes from rosemary, basil, and oregano
Oh, and we can’t forget our veggies: Mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery, and garlic)
The longer this cooks, the richer it becomes. I recommend a 1 hour minimum cook time after all the ingredients have come together. If you don’t have an hour, consider making it the day before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight. Because everything is better when it sits overnight.
Note: if you end up serving this over pasta, I’d nix the maple syrup. Or Not.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced (no need to peel)
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage
- 1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes
- ½ cup dry red wine (or sub with stock)
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. beef Better than Bouillon (or 1 beef bouillon cube)
- 2 bay leaves
- Handful of chopped fresh basil
- Palmful of dried oregano
- 2 tsp. maple sugar
- Maple Syrup
- 6-8 eggs to poach
- Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese
- In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add diced bacon and cook until golden brown.
- Once bacon is crisp, add diced onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary, stirring to coat with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions are slightly translucent and carrots are slightly softened.
- If your sausage is in casing, remove the meat from the casing. Throw away the casing.
- Add breakfast sausage/meat to the pot with the veggies, breaking apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring, and crumbling frequently, until sausage is cooked through and crumbled,
- Add plum tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon, bay leaves, basil, oregano and maple sugar. Stir, breaking apart the tomatoes with your wooden spoon.
- Adjust the heat to low and cover dutch oven/pot. Simmer for 1 to 1½ hours.
- When ready to serve, spoon in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with high quality maple syrup and top with a poached egg and grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese. Serve with charred bread.
- To poach an egg, heat a pot of water to a steady simmer (not boiling). Add a couple dashes -about 2 tsp.- white vinegar. Crack a fresh egg into a shallow ramekin, making sure there are no shells and the yolk is in tact. With the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the water into a whirlpool while simmering. Lower the egg, white first, into the whirlpool. Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Once water has absorbed, serve and enjoy.