With every thing going on in the country these recent days, we have been seeking easy and delicious comfort food. Eggs in Purgatory (Uova in Purgatoria) is something I remember my dad making when I was a young girl.
I know the name is funny and maybe some of you know this dish by other names. It all comes down to the eggs representing the “souls” that are looking for purification and are in purgatory, signified by the surrounding tomato sauce. Sometimes the sauce is made very spicy, and that may represent something besides purgatory.
A little history on this simple and delicious egg dish from Italy. Uova in Purgatorio is called Ova ‘mpriatorio in Neapolitan (Napoletano), or Eggs in Purgatory. In Sicily they have uova cunzati and I know some add peas to the sauce.
Some Eggs in Purgatory recipe notes:
- Serve with toast, bruschetta or even bagels if you are making this for brunch.
- The recipe below calls for cooking the eggs directly in the tomato sauce. If you need to cook some of the eggs more, you could cook in a pan and then add to the sauce with the rest of the eggs. Poached eggs may even be made ahead and rewarmed to serve with this dish.
- If you are making it just for two or four, you could make it on top of the stove in a cast iron skillet following the recipe and using less sauce and eggs. If you are cooking on stove, let the eggs cook in the sauce simmering on medium-low until the whites are set.
- This recipe is made with a sauce that isn’t spicy. Spice the sauce up with crushed red pepper to your liking.
- We didn’t use all the sauce, as it would be too much to fit on a baking sheet. The leftover sauce is nice to use for another recipe during the week.
- To save time, you could make the sauce the day before.
EGGS IN PURGATORY-UOVA IN PURGATORIO
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive ol
- 1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
- 28 ounces canned peeled whole tomatoes and their liquid (or blanched, peeled whole tomatoes)
- 24 ounces of Italian strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 8 ounces canned tomato purée
- Sea Salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 dozen eggs
- A handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley roughly chopped (just the leaves)
- In a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat, add in the olive oil. Sauté the onion until translucent and aromatic, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add both the whole tomatoes and the tomato sauce, stirring and using a using a potato masher or back of large spoon wooden to break up the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer, allowing excess liquid to boil off and the sauce to thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Stir occasionally. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to your taste.Add a dash of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. Simmer sauce on low while you heat oven to 375 F.
- Spoon some of the sauce in a baking sheet. Make sure to not go all the way to the top of the sides. You won't use all of the sauce.
- Make small wells in the sauce and gently crack one egg into each well.Carefully add the baking sheet to the oven.
- Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit runny.If you like the yolks more cooked, leave in an extra minute or two.
- Toss on chopped Italian parsley before serving.