Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs In Purgatory may sound like a recipe from a religious cookbook but they are actually a great tasting dish. Who doesn’t tomato sauce, cheese and eggs? Why not put them all together and serve them in a cast iron skillet?

As I’ve gotten older its a lot harder to keep the weight off. In fact I’m doing a terrible job. One of the many reasons is because of all the egg sandwiches I have eaten for breakfast. I seriously could eat one each and every day of the rest of my life. Really, I’m serious, there isn’t a better way to start the day than with 2 fried eggs on a roll or bagel with some cheese and bacon. Or even better than bacon is Taylor Ham. Taylor Ham is proof that God is from New Jersey.

eggs in purgatoryWell according to my wife and most of the world, bread and carbs are the enemy. So I had to say goodbye to my beloved sandwiches and now I live in a town called Nobreadville. But since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I’ve had to find other ways to start the day off right.

Eggs in Purgatory fits the bill. Not only is it a hearty egg meal but it also is perfect for my cast iron skillet.

There are lots of variations but this is how I make it. First take some leftover tomato sauce. I make a large pot of sauce about once a month and freeze it so we always have some on hand. Lately it’s been less than once a month because pasta is a high carb enemy too. What good is it to be Italian if you can’t have a bowl of macaroni on Sundays. Come on! Well anyway, I scoop some tomato sauce into my skillet, sprinkle some parmesan cheese over it, then cut some slices of fresh mozzarella and put them in there too. Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes. The more heat you like, the more pepper flakes you should add. This is the Purgatory part of Eggs in Purgatory. Not quite hot as Hell but not all cool and happy like Heaven either. It’s somewhere in the middle. Although most of the time it’s served as a spicy dish. My variation takes advantage of my very garlicy tomato meat sauce so mine is more Italian style I guess.

Heat up the skillet on top of the stove for a little while to warm the sauce and start melting the cheese.

Next you’re going to make a few indentations in the sauce, sort of like little pockets and crack an egg in there. The egg should sit in the hole and not really spread out too much. If your sauce isn’t thick enough to hold the egg then add some more cheese. And you want to make sure that the sauce is warm enough to start poaching the eggs.

Then you bake the whole thing in the oven for about 10-15 minutes on 375 degrees or as soon as the eggs whites are firm. The goal is a perfectly poached egg but if you overcook the eggs, don’t worry because Eggs in Purgatory still taste good with hard boiled eggs in there.

There’s lots of variations to this dish. You can used diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce but then you’ll want to saute some garlic in olive oil before adding the tomatoes to the skillet. Like I said, my tomato sauce is ready to go with the seasonings so it’s easier. I’ll have to post my tomato sauce recipe at some point.

Other variations include adding onions and red peppers or even puttanesca style with olives, capers & anchovies. Yum!

Breakfast is saved thanks to Eggs in Purgatory. And living in Nobreadville might not even be that bad after all.

Eggs In Purgatory Recipe

  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 thicks slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Hot Pepper Flakes to taste
  • 4 eggs

Heat sauce in cast iron skillet on stove
Add cheeses and hot pepper flakes
Scoop holes in sauce mixture and crack eggs into holes
Bake 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees
Done when egg whites are firm

Can be served over toasted Italian bread (unless you live in Nobreadville too).
Serves 2-4