Spicy Eggs In Purgatory is a peppery, savory Italian dish Uova Piccante In Purgatorio. The eggs cook in a rich seasoned tomato sauce laced with Parmesan cheese. Served with ciabatta or polenta, it’s a perfect dish for brunch. Make it for breakfast when camping, it’s quick and easy.
Spicy Eggs In Purgatory a classic dish
Spicy Eggs in Purgatory is a classic recipe that seems to be regaining popularity. I can’t open a cook book or surf the Internet without seeing some version of eggs poached in a spicy herbaceous tomato sauce.
One of my favorite cookbook authors, Nigella Lawson, prepares and eats Uova in Purgatorio so she can feel heavenly.
Giulia Scarpaleggia writes in her Italian cookbook, I Love Toscana, that she has fond memories of her nonna many summer evenings fixing uova al pomodoro.
In his cookbook Dolce Vita, David Rocco tells how he’d take his mother’s tomato sauce, heat it up, then poach some eggs in her delicious sauce.
In Italy, you’ll find spicy eggs in purgatory, called uova in purgatorio, uova all’inferno, or uova al pomodoro. Purgatory, limbo, and hell are associated with suffering and penance. But believe me, eating this peppery dish is no hardship — it’s devilishly good!
Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce a multi-cultural dish
If you do an Internet search for eggs in tomato sauce, you’ll come up with an Italian version, a Middle Eastern version, a Mexican version, and an Andalusian version. Even campers like to toss in an egg or two into a pan over the open fire. I’m sure there are many more versions.
In the Southwest and Mexico, you’ll find Huevos Rancheros on most restaurant menus. The egg dish gets its kick from fresh and dried hot peppers. I’ve even seen a Mexican green sauce version made with tomatillos, cilantro, and scallions.
In Andalusia, you’ll find Huevos A La Flamenca. Poached eggs in tomato sauce with Serrano ham, chorizo, peppers, and peas.
In many cultures, eggs were the only protein available. This type of dish made a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Spicy Eggs in Purgatory an Italian rustic dish
For many years mammas and nonnas made this dish for a light lunch or dinner. Sometimes, eggs were the only protein available. That was the meal.
Next to the poached eggs in tomato sauce were slices of homemade bread so that not one bit of sauce went to waste. Just like polenta, this dish of the contadino is now in vogue.
I grew up eating simple country dishes. Mamma made everything taste wonderful — it was the special ingredient she put into it. Love.
We hope you try the Spicy Eggs in Purgatory. It’s a quick dish you can make for one or many. It all depends on the size of your pan. Make it for a romantic Sunday brunch or a special family breakfast.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the slices of rustic bread per fare la scarpetta. You’ll want to mop up every bit of sauce.
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
Spicy Eggs In Purgatory – Italian Dish Uova Piccante In Purgatorio
- 4 eggs
- 14.5 oz can petite tomatoes with basil garlic, oregano (you may use tomatoes of choice)
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to your taste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Tuscany or Italian seasoning.
- Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Bread to soak up the delicious juice.
- Basil leaf ribbons for garnish or green onions
- Pour the olive oil into a heavy duty skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes, garlic, and onion. Stir for 2 -3 minutes being careful not to let the garlic brown. Add the tomatoes and stir in the Tuscan seasoning and salt.
- Let the tomatoes with sauce come to a simmer. It has to be hot enough to poach the eggs.
- Crack the eggs and let them slide into the juice. Sprinkle some Parmesan over the eggs, leaving some of the yolk still exposed. Partially cover with lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. The white should be set and the yolk still runny. It goes fast so keep an eye on it.
- Remove from the heat, sprinkle with basil leaves, green onions or both. Serve with a little more Parmesan and some bread to dunk in.
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