Today we’re making Eggs in Purgatory… aka the ultimate breakfast/brunch/dinner recipe! This southern Italian inspired dish features a hearty tomato sauce base, perfectly cooked eggs, and feta and fresh chives on top. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to dip in the egg yolks.
Eggs in Purgatory Recipe
It’s no secret I love eggs! Of course, I bake with them. But I also love them on hearty sandwiches, in breakfast casseroles, and on top of ramen noodle soup! I just can’t get enough. And when I was pregnant with Remi my egg obsession exploded to the point where I was eating them every.single.day!!!
And while I will honestly eat eggs in almost any form, my favorite way to enjoy them is poached in marinara sauce. The hearty tomato base is loaded with fresh garlic and is just slightly spicy thanks to crushed red pepper flakes. And the eggs are cooked just until the whites are set, so the yolks are still runny! This hearty and semi-healthy dish is SO flavorful and just begging to be served with crusty bread.
What You’ll Need
- Olive Oil: I don’t suggest subbing a different oil here. But it doesn’t need to be fancy olive oil! Just one you enjoy the flavor of.
- Garlic: Minced! Feel free to cut the amount a bit if you’re not a huge garlic fan.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Increase or decrease the amount used based on your preference.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Or for a chunkier sauce, you can use an equal amount of canned diced tomatoes. But I prefer the texture crushed tomatoes brings.
- Salt and Pepper: For seasoning and spice.
- Fresh Basil: Do not sub dried here!
- Fresh Parsley: Ditto what is said above! Fresh is a must.
- Yellow Onion: But a white or red onion will work in a pinch, but this will slightly change the flavor.
- Red Bell Pepper: Make sure you remove all of the seeds! And don’t sub a green pepper here, as the flavor will not be the same.
- Eggs: I suggest using large eggs, but small or medium will work. They’ll just cook slightly faster. So keep that in mind.
- Feta Cheese: I suggest buying a whole block of feta and then crumbling it yourself. Not a fan of feta? Use Parmesan cheese instead!
- Chives: Fresh chives are so pretty and add a pop of freshness. But if you can’t find them, sprinkle with freshly chopped basil or parsley.
- Crusty Bread: The crustier the better! For dunking in those runny egg yolks!
Let’s Make Eggs in Purgatory
- Make your spicy marinara sauce! Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes for optimum flavor. You can do this up to 3 days in advance, then slightly reheat before using.
- Next, heat some olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add in the crushed red pepper onion, and pepper and cook, stirring, until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, then pour in the spicy marinara sauce. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.
- Carefully crack an egg into a large measuring cup, taking care not to break the yolk. Repeat with all eggs.
- Using the back of a spoon, create divots in the sauce mixture. Then add an egg into each hole. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. You can definitely cook more or less eggs depending on your preference.
- Cook until the egg whites have set, but the yolks are still runny, about 6 to 8 minutes. Or until your desired texture is achieved. You can put a lid on the pan for a more set egg.
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta and chives, then scoop the eggs and sauce into bowls and serve HOT! Or, eat straight from the pan. I’ve done this before with zero regrets.
More Breakfast/Brunch Egg Recipes:
- Puttanesca Poached Eggs (Another Italian riff on the middle eastern shakshuka)
- Eggs Benedict
- Crispy Kale and Smoked Gouda Scrambled Egg Tacos
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Eggs Benedict
Eggs in Purgatory.
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup (57ml) olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
For the Eggs:
- 2 Tablespoons (14ml) olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large large yellow onion diced
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for the eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for the eggs
- 6 large eggs
- 3 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives finely chopped
- 1 loaf crusty bread sliced or torn, for serving
For the Sauce:
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant. Add crushed red pepper, and stir to combine.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Mix in the salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Remove from heat. Use in the recipe below.
For the Eggs:
- Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-heat. Add in the crushed red pepper and cook for a minute. Add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add in the bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 more minutes, or until the pepper has slightly softened.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Then pour in all of the spicy marinara sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Then reduce to medium-low.
- Carefully break the eggs into a large measuring cup, taking care not to break the yolks.
- Using the back of a spoon, create (6) 2-inch divots in the sauce mixture. Gently pour 1 egg into each hole. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
- Cook over medium-low heat until the egg whites have set, but the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes. If you find your egg whites aren’t setting, you can place a lid on top of the pan to help them along.
- Remove the pan from heat. Sprinkle the entire pan with crumbled feta and chives. You can also garnish with extra parsley or basil, if desired.
- Then carefully scoop the eggs and sauce out of the pan and into bowls. Serve with crusty bread!