Start off by frying 1 clove of thinly sliced garlic in a medium skillet with a generous glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt until softened and slightly golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, either from a 28-oz. can or fresh—both cherry (a handful, halved) and ripe plum ones, chopped (3 should be about right)—work, depending on what you have on hand. Let them cook for around 5 minutes, until they start to break down and become jammy. You could rip some basil leaves and throw them in at this point, to wilt, or not—it’s up to you.
Turn down the heat, make four small wells in the pan and crack an egg into each. Now grab a 5-oz. fresh mozzarella, slice it into thin strips, and arrange the strips around the eggs. Feel like tearing the cheese over the skillet instead? No one’s stopping you. The only rule here is to use all of it: You want voluptuous creaminess to be the star trait of the final dish.
Sprinkle some more salt and a grinding of pepper, then place a tight-fitting lid over the skillet. This will make the mozzarella melt faster, and turn the egg yolks into their best version of themselves: runny, soft, gooey pockets of flavor. The whole thing should wobble slightly, with the mozzarella bits bobbing on the surface, floating like fat clouds.
Take off the heat, place the skillet on your dining table, and eat straight from it, like my mom and I do. One small but major note: Make sure you’ve got bread to go with it. This is a meal that begs to be mopped up with a crusty loaf of sourdough or a fluffy pull-apart dinner roll.
Just like a pizza, from which they get their name, snazzing up your eggs “alla pizzaiola” with different toppings is 100% encouraged once you’ve got the foundation down. You can play with different herbs and spices, from parsley and oregano to crushed red pepper flakes; add a heaped tablespoon of tomato paste to make the sauce a little heftier; sprinkle Parmesan on top for extra cheesiness or pecorino for a saltier, sharper edge.
The eggs, too, leave room for experimenting. They can be scrambled, poached, left to set to the point of resembling a frittata—anything works, really.
Recipe from Bon Appetit