Huevos a la Flamenca

This classic Spanish baked egg dish is made with spring vegetables, such as fresh peas, asparagus, and artichoke hearts, sautéed with tomatoes and then garnished with bacon and chorizo. Eggs are cracked into the pan and baked until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

The recipe dates back to the early days of King Philip II of Spain, when he moved his court from Madrid to his palace in Aranjuez (about 18 miles south of Madrid) during the spring. It was one of his favorite dishes and was often served in his court. The “Flamenca” name in the recipe is not from flamenco or gypsies, a common misconception, but from the name of the nearby finca, or estate, where the vegetables were grown.

For an elegant presentation, I like to make it in individual gratin dishes, but it is also perfect made in an earthenware cazuela or a decorative oven-to-table dish. Serve with bread, to mop up all the sauce, and a creamy dressed salad for a sublime Sunday lunch.

Serves 6

  • 8 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1 pound chorizo, finely sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 10 thin asparagus tips, each about 3 inches long
  • 1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
  • 1 pound fresh peas (from about 2 pounds unshelled peas; or frozen, thawed)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 6 large eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon and the chorizo until all the fat is rendered and both are crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until transparent and soft. Add the diced tomatoes with about half its liquid, along with the asparagus and artichoke hearts, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the peas and stir to combine. Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to a baking dish (or leave in the pan, if oven-proof). Using a large spoon, make 6 evenly spaced indentations in the vegetable mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the chorizo and bacon. Place in the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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