My Mother made this recipe often for our meatless Fridays or during Lent. She and my Dad would grow their own plum tomatoes, basil, oregano, and garlic. Needless to say, we had all the makings for homemade, fresh, and delicious tomato sauce.
When harvest time arrived Mom and Dad would be busy in the kitchen canning tomatoes, which they stored for the winter months. I remember watching them in the kitchen, boiling and peeling tomatoes. They placed them in Mason Jars and put the jars in a hot water bath. It was fun to watch them work in an assembly line. Mom would peel the tomatoes and add them to the jars. Dad would add a sprig or two of fresh basil and seal the jars with special lids and place them in the water bath.
He enjoyed admiring their handy work seeing the jars lined up on the kitchen table as they cooled. They both were very proud of their joint effort to conserve the fruits of their backyard garden. Naturally, we had lots of jarred tomatoes and Mom would always find some way to use them up.
This recipe for asparagus, cooked with their jarred tomatoes, was one of them.
When asparagus were in season, Mom developed this recipe and we would enjoy eating this for dinner, along with warm Italian bread and lots of extra grated Parmesan cheese. I prepare it with the best canned Italian Plum tomatoes I can find, since I don’t have Mom and Dad’s jarred tomatoes any more. Its great served for lunch or as a light dinner and a good way to mix protein with vegetables without meat.
- 1 lb fresh asparagus spears
- 2 1/2 tbs Extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 28-oz can whole peeled Italian plulm tomatoes (Progresso)
- 2 tbs fresh basil chopped
- 4 eggs
- Grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
- Trim ends of asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté asparagus stir occasionally and cook until tender.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Remove tomatoes from liquid in can and place in bowl. Crush with hands or pulse 2-3 times in food processor.
- Add tomatoes to asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Add chopped basil. Lower heat and cook until tomatoes are cooked and liquid is partially reduced, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Break egg in small bowl and carefully add to asparagus and tomatoes being careful not to break yolk.
- Cover pan with lid and cook over medium heat until eggs are poached. 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese. Carefully place one egg with asparagus in a swallow dish (pasta dish). Serve hot with warm Italian bread.