Eggs in Purgatory, but tastes like heaven

Pairing tomato sauce with eggs may seem like an unlikely flavor combination.  To me, it’s heavenly.

My Sicilian father would make a variety of egg dishes; fried peppers and eggs, spinach and eggs, meatloaf with eggs; basically frittatas using freshly cooked veggies or leftovers from last night’s dinner.  For many years, I worked right around the corner from his house.  I would stop by for lunch to visit with him, and of course, be treated to a home cooked meal.  I honestly have to say, growing up I had never heard this egg dish referred to as such.  It was simply poached or simmered egg in tomato sauce.  Years later, I heard this interesting and somewhat fitting name. 

When cooked perfectly and served, the eggs break to release their yolk creamy richness into the sauce.  Follow with toasted garlic-rubbed rustic bread sopping up the excess.  Being a spicy girl, I add crushed red pepper to my simmering sauce and a touch of cream at the end to lighten and soften the sauce.  Serving with a spoonful of ricotta cheese and fresh herbs on top adds an extra creamy and fresh taste.

Eggs in Purgatory

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, pureed

2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

4-5 Basil leaves, roughly torn

1 tablespoon heavy cream

4 large eggs

2 -3 tablespoons freshly ground parmesan cheese

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and toss in the garlic.  Gently simmer the garlic for one minute, then adding in the tomato sauce, basil leaves, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to simmer, occasionally stirring for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, crack each egg into a separate cup so that dropping the egg into the sauce will be easier.  When the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes and slightly thickened, remove the garlic and stir in the tablespoon of cream.  Using a spoon make a well in the sauce to gently slide in an egg, repeating for all four eggs.  Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese, cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until eggs are set to your preference.  I have occasionally either placed the skillet under the broiler to finish or in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to complete set the eggs.   Serve with toasted rustic bread and if you don’t mind garlic in the morning, use the simmered garlic cloves to rub over the bread! Serves 2.

32 thoughts on “Eggs in Purgatory, but tastes like heaven

  1. No way – not unlikely at all! Eggs and tomato sauce go amazingly together and your dish looks wonderful! I posted a baked egg and tomato chutney breakfast pot a few weeks ago which is delicious. I’d say eggs and red wine is a weird combo though. Eggs poached in red wine is a popular regional dish in France which I must get around to trying one day I think!

  2. Actually this looks delicous, Sounds like your dad and my dad have lot’s in common, my mom would alway make him a fritatta for dinner when he got home late. Now, I do the same only because it’s so easy and cheap to make, Eggs are the perfect protein. I could eat this for dinner,actually we had eggs for dinner last night, frittata with fried peppers on toasted ciabatta bread! I have to try your version out!

    1. Lisa, this WAS my dinner too!! I love having easy egg dishes for dinner. Not so for my son tho! My dad cooked like he was still living in Sicily and unfortunately I nothing was really written down so I just go with what I remember!

  3. Yep, my Calabrese family used to do this too! It´s wonderful. Here in Spain they have a very similar dish called Huevos a la Flamenca which also includes a few peas and some slices of jamon…wonderful!

  4. I think many of the people with an Italian background have experienced eggs in so many wonderful ways. One of my husband’s favorite lunches is peppers and eggs. We have Italian frying peppers growing in the garden now.

  5. Oh this is heavenly! Your eggs look cooked to perfection and happily bathing in the beautiful sauce. I love your ideas of adding a touch of cream and then ricotta with fresh herbs on top. As if heaven could get any better…

  6. I love the combination of egg and tomato Linda – it reminds me of huevos rancheros – a breakfast favourite of mine… your dish looks fabulous and the basil leaves mixed in sound deliciious too. Mmm….

  7. I have always wanted to try this because it looks so fantastic and gorgeous and just yummy! Your dish is amazing. Perfect picture, perfect light and the perfect way to get me inspired to make it. I am loving this post and recipe. Top 10 fav!

  8. I love eggs with tomato sauce and, like your Father, I’ll put eggs with just about anything. And a left-overs based frittata is simply heaven on a plate. Thanks for sharing.

  9. You have a smart father! I love eggs and yes they match with tomato sauce for sure 🙂
    I love the name of the dish!
    We have a dish we name spinach narcissus because the dish looks like dafodils

  10. Saw this prepared on TV today and thought of your recipe, found it, and made yours for dinner. It was delicious and I just had to tell you so. Best of all: there’s plenty of sauce left over for at least one more meal. Yay!

    I know you’re busy, so, no need to reply. We’ll catch up later. Take care till then.

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