Set a rack in the upper half of the oven and heat the broiler to high. On the stovetop, heat a 10-inch, straight-sided, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, and once it’s hot, add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring often so it won’t burn, until it begins to turn light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8-minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve about one-third of the sauce in a bowl and spread the remaining sauce evenly around the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low, crack the eggs into the tomato sauce, and lightly spoon the reserved tomato sauce over the whites of the eggs (not on the yolks). Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes so the eggs set slightly. Uncover the skillet and set it under the broiler until the yolks firm up slightly but are still soft to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle with the chives and cheese. Serve immediately with the toasted bread.
Try serving the eggs on top of sautéed spinach or lay a slice of prosciutto over them. For a more elegant presentation, divide the eggs and sauce into four small gratin dishes before-broiling.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips