Eggs in Purgatory is a simple meal of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or a meatless supper.
I was craving something a little different for breakfast one morning, and I spied some leftover tomato sauce in the fridge. And then it hit me: Eggs in Purgatory!
This southern Italian dish comes together in minutes even if you use fresh tomatoes and cook them down a bit for the sauce. Serve it with some crusty bread or toast to soak up all of that beautiful sauce and egg yolk.
Ingredients for Eggs in Purgatory
Obviously you need eggs. The recipe below is for 4 eggs, but you can easily ramp it up for more people. Figure about 2-3 eggs per person, use a larger skillet, if needed or cook it in batches.
I started with plain tomato sauce, but you can use canned peeled whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, etc. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, chop them and press the juice out of them a little then cook until tender and saucy before adding the eggs.
The red pepper flakes are traditional, part of the reason it is called "in Purgatory". Omit it if you want it mild or more if you want it spicier.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce (or fresh or canned chopped tomatoes)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large eggs
- chopped fresh parsley or basil (optional )
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- In a medium cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Break an egg into a small bowl being careful not to break the yolk, then slide gently into the tomato sauce Repeat with the remaining eggs leaving space between them.
- Cover the skillet and cook until the whites of the eggs are set and the egg yolks are cooked to the desired level of doneness, about 2-3 minutes for soft and 5-6 for harder cooked.
- Optional: Top with Parmesan cheese and/or chopped fresh herbs.
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Until next time, happy eating!