Monday 13 June 2011

Avga me Ntomata - Eggs 'Poached' In Tomato sauce

This is a family classic. My nona (in Kefalonia we call grandmothers nona, from the Italian influence on the island) cooks this for the whole family every summer and we all love it! I think its because its so simple, but so delicious! Obviously in Kefalonia we use fresh tomatoes, full of rich, sweet flavour, free range eggs, fantastic local feta and freshly baked bread to dip in. But having made it as a student in the UK for plenty of friends, I can say, with some certainty, that even with basic, budget ingredients it can still taste delicious!

The one ingredient I find does make a difference is the feta. Now, this is a big issue for me: You can't seem to get good feta in the UK! At least not at supermarkets... Feta should be a SALTY cheese, but the feta available in the UK seems to just be sour... I don't understand why this is, as most of the feta available is actually produced by Greek dairy companies! In any case, seeing as I still have not been able to source any good feta myself (please let me know if you have any suggestions!), I cannot make any recommendations. What I can say is this: taste the feta before hand. If you find it is fairly sour and not that salty, add some salt to the dish!

Serves 4

1 kilo of tomatoes (passata or fresh sieved)
10-12 eggs (2-3 per person)
100 g of feta, crumbled into small pieces
4 pureed garlic cloves
4 tbs olive oil

Add the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and pepper to a frying pan and heat slowly till its simmering. When the sauce begins to thicken (if using fresh tomatoes, this takes longer than if using passata), add in the crumbled feta. Once the feta has melted, make wells in the sauce and break an egg into each. Cook gently until the eggs have set. I find that covering the pan, allows for more even cooking. If you like your yolk soft, keep an eye on the eggs, as they can cook quite suddenly! Serve with some fresh bread, to dunk into the sauce and make sure you mop up any sauce left on the plate!

I apologise for the pictures. Its not the best, but please trust me, when I say it tastes delicious. My eggs don't seem to be photogenic - I blame the photographer... :)


  1. Thank you very much for sharing your recipe and giving me inspiration! in fact I just finished eating some I just made!! Delicious!!

    I must say I added a bit of oregano to it and scrambled the eggs instead..yet it was finger licking!!

    Thanks again and happy cooking hungry mama!!

  2. Aw, thank you for your kind words! Glad you enjoyed them! Scrambling the eggs is indeed another variation! Good tip on oregano. Maybe fresh parsley or fresh basil might be a good shout too... Will have to try it myself! :)

  3. Looks really good and contains 3 of my fave foods. Have you tried the own brand organic feta sold by Sainsburys? There is also a Greek store on Camberwell Church Street. It's next to the Greek bakery. They might have something more to your taste.

  4. Rachel, thank you for the recommendations. I have tried the Sainsbury's organic - its one of the best you can get in supermarkets, but still not quite crumbly or salty enough. The Kolios in brine is ok too. I haven't tried the Greek store in Camberwell yet - just the bakery. Will give it a go, as well as maybe the Neal's Yard feta in brine. Thanks again for the tips. :)