3-4tablespoonsfreshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Crusty bread (optional),for serving
Make the base: In a large skillet or wide saucepan with a lid set over medium-low heat, stir together the olive oil, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion and peppers are softened, about 10 minutes. If the bell pepper isn’t quite tender, cover the pan partially and cook for another 5 minutes, until the pepper is softened but still holds its shape. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
Add the tomatoes: Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet partially and simmer gently until the tomatoes have darkened in color and thickened, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.
Poach the eggs: Use the back of a spoon to carve out 4 wide wells in the sauce, making homes for your eggs. Crack the eggs into the wells and season each with a sprinkle of salt. Cover the pan and cook gently until the whites are set and the yolk is still runny, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve: Remove from the heat and garnish with torn fresh basil leaves and cheese. Serve right away, with good bread on the side.
If you prefer firm yolks, leave the cover on for them to poach for an extra minute or so.
Make sure you use a pan with a lid: the eggs won’t cook through if they’re uncovered.