Italian Eggs Benedict
Italian Eggs Benedict is based on the classic eggs benedict with a couple of substitutions. Prosciutto instead of ham, Parmesan sauce instead of hollandaise sauce and ciabatta instead of English muffins.
You may think I’m going to say this dish was inspired by a quaint little restaurant in an ancient village in Italy but it is actually inspired by my favorite place to visit in California, Carmel-by-the-Sea. I’ve previously talked about Carmel in my post for Florentine cookies, also inspired by the same restaurant.
My husband and I have been visiting the Central Coast of California for many years and Carmel-by-the-Sea was our main destination. A quaint city nestled on a stunning California coastline, Carmel boasts great shopping and restaurants and scenic beauty. Our favorite restaurant is Il Fornaio which is inside the Pine Inn hotel on Ocean Avenue. It’s where my husband proposed and we’ve been frequent visitors of the hotel and restaurant so much we know all the staff and have become great friends with some.
If you’ve never heard of, or seen Carmel-by-the-Sea it’s worth a look. Here’s a link to their travel site. (I’m not paid to promote the city, I just love to visit and it holds a special place in my heart).
My go-to dish for breakfast is always uova alla benedettina (eggs benedict). Crispy ciabatta bread topped with sliced prosciutto di Parma (pancetta can also be used) with a perfectly poached egg and the best part is the parmesan sauce, which takes the place of traditional hollandaise. They serve them alongside rosemary roasted potatoes which are delicious in themselves.
How to poach an egg?
I have a tutorial on how to poach an egg. It’s much easier than you think. You can find that here > how to poach an egg.
The Parmesan sauce is made very differently to hollandaise in that is has no eggs. It’s butter cooked with flour, milk and grated Parmesan cheese, so easy and so delicious. This is a great brunch item the next time you want to serve something a little different from the regular eggs benedict. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial, with pictures, on how to poach the perfect egg, link.
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- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh nutmeg, about 8-10 runs across a grater, grated
- Small pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices Ciabatta bread
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 8 slices prosciutto di Parma, sliced thin
- 4 large eggs
- Fresh parsley, optional, finely chopped
- Melt the butter in a mediium saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the flour and stir to cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk slowly until combined.
- Whisk in the parmesan, nutmeg and black pepper, cook until thickened. * see note
- Place the slices of ciabatta onto a baking sheet and broil on both sides until just golden. Set aside.
- Crack the eggs into individual small bowls.
- Fill a high-sided sauté pan, or low sided saucepan 1/2 full with water.
- Heat over medium heat until you start to see bubbles form and the temperature reaches 190°F using a candy thermometer. Add 1 teaspoon white vinegar.
- Turn the heat down to low and regulate it to keep the temperature at 190 degrees.
- Stir the water in a circular motion to create a vortex and pour the egg into the center while the water is spinning.
- Have a folded towel next to the pan to drain the egg of the excess water when it comes out.
- Cook the egg for 4 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the towel. Repeat with the other 3 eggs.
- Add 1 slice of ciabatta to 4 plates. Top each piece of bread with 2 slices of prosciutto and top each with 1 egg.
- Drizzle the parmesan sauce over the top and garnish with chopped parsley.
I keep the sauce warm over a low flame until the rest of the dish is ready. If it gets too thick, whisk in a little more milk.
Amount Per Serving Calories 480Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 267mgSodium 2236mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 35g
This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.