Eggs in Purgatory

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Senior Cook
Aug 24, 2004
Long Island, New York, USA
Absolutely delicious, I like it best with garlic:

Chef Rocco Dispirito

Serves 4

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons chili flakes
5 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 large can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes
4 whole basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
8 extra large eggs or 12 medium eggs
Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated to taste

Make a chunky tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet, over medium heat. If you do not have a very wide skillet, divide the ingredients among 2 smaller skillets. You will need enough surface area to poach all the eggs. Add the smashed garlic. Stir and further crush the garlic with a spoon or spatula until it is light brown and tender and has broken down somewhat. Lower the heat if the garlic is getting toasted. Add a pinch of chili flakes and the vinegar.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl to strain out extra liquid, or pick the whole tomatoes out of the can with a spoon. Chop the tomatoes into a few pieces each and add them, two of the basil leaves, and the salt to the pan. Bring it up to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom is not sticking. Lower the heat again if the sauce is boiling. It should be chunky, but if it seems extremely thick, add 1/4 cup of water.

Turn off the stovetop heat. With a rubber spatula or a spoon, smooth the top of the sauce, making sure it is level. Crack the eggs onto the surface, separated from one another. Put the casserole into the oven for about seven minutes, or until the eggs have set. Remove and top with grated parmigiano, chili flakes, and the other two basil leaves, torn by hand. Spoon out the eggs, careful not to break the yolks, and serve with toast.
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