Eggs In Purgatory are eggs poached in a thick, flavorful and quick tomato sauce. It’s a simple and economical Italian dish that can be enjoyed for a special breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve with a hunk of toasted Italian bread for dipping and you’re in heaven - not purgatory!
This is the Italian version of Shakshuka. Eggs In Purgatory, otherwise known as Uova In Purgatorio, are eggs poached in a kicked-up version of my simple, flavorful tomato sauce. The eggs are cooked until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. You can make it for one or six and any remaining sauce can be saved for another meal. If making it for one, use a smaller skillet and scoop in enough sauce to cover the bottom then poach one or two eggs on top. Covering the skillet helps the whites cook quicker while keeping the yolks soft.
Eggs In Purgatory is where the eggs represent the souls wanting to be purified and the flames (the spicy red sauce) represent purgatory. Eggs trapped between heaven and hell. Hmmmm, some days I think I’m one of those eggs.
Everyone has their own way of making the tomato sauce for this dish. This one is basically my quick simple tomato sauce spiced with red pepper flakes to give it heat and some oregano for added flavor. You don’t need anything else as this dish is incredibly delicious. While taking photos, I poached so many eggs and ran out of sauce because I couldn’t stop everyone (including myself) from eating. The temptation was like being in purgatory, and savoring a bite was like heaven.
In a large skillet, (I use Le Creuset skillets) saute onions and garlic in a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the spices then add the tomatoes. In about 10 minutes, the sauce will darken, thicken, and be ready for the eggs.
If using 6 eggs:
Make an indentation with the back of a spoon for each egg. Carefully crack the eggs in the pan making sure they do not touch. Sprinkle the tops with a little salt and pepper. Cover the pan, lower the heat, and let the eggs cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. You want the egg whites set but the yolks still runny for that crunchy delicious toast to soak up with the tomato sauce.
If making 1 to 2 eggs:
Grab a smaller skillet, scoop in some of that awesome sauce, and repeat the steps above. Save that sauce for the next day or just make individual servings.
Cut a thick slice of bread - either Italian or whichever you like - and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place it under the broiler for a minute or until golden and crispy. It’s the perfect vehicle to dip into that runny yolk and scoop up that delicious sauce.
Refrigerate or freeze any remaining sauce for another time. When you’re craving an incredibly delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, simply reheat the sauce until bubbly and hot before cracking the eggs into the sauce. If you do plan on saving some sauce for later, I recommend using a smaller skillet, otherwise the level of sauce will be too shallow to poach the eggs.
This can be prepared in under 30 minutes so there’s really no excuse to give this a try. Serve with some grated Parmesan or Romano on top for some extra saltiness. OMG.
If you love eggs in purgatory, try these Italian dishes:
- Stuffed Peppers with Sausage and Mozzarella
- Creamy Fettuccine with Peas and Ham
- Baked Rigatoni with Three Cheeses
- Angel Hair with Sautéed Tomatoes
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Eggs In Purgatory (Eggs Trapped Between Heaven and Hell)Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper you choose the amount
- 1 (28 ounce) can ground peeled tomatoes
- 6 to 8 basil leaves torn
- 1 - 6 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- 1 - 6 slices of crusty Italian bread or bread of choice
- Olive oil
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil for about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two being careful not to brown.
- Stir in the salt, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and red pepper.
- Slowly add the crushed tomatoes and basil and bring to a simmer. Cook for about ten minutes stirring occasionally. Since it’s expected that the tomatoes will splatter, place a cover over the skillet slightly askew allows the sauce to thicken slightly. You may have to lower the heat if the sauce boils rapidly. The purpose is to cook the sauce and raise the temperature to a simmer enough to cook the eggs.
- Make a small indentation with a spoon in the sauce for each egg and carefully crack the eggs in, making sure they do not touch each other. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook 4 - 5 minutes, until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Be careful not to overcook eggs as you want the yolks runny.
- While the eggs are cooking, drizzle a little oil on the bread and place under the broiler or toaster oven until golden.
- Remove cover from skillet and check if whites are set and yolks still giggly. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with the cheese, and finish with the chopped parsley.
- To serve, scoop out the eggs and sauce. Serve with toasted bread for dipping.
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