Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce – Eggs in Purgatory Recipe

Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce, also known as Eggs in Purgatory dish (Uova in Purgatorio), and Sicilian Eggs In Hell, are a favorite egg dish of my husband.  He said I could make this anytime.

If you have never paired up eggs and tomato sauce, you do not know what you are missing!  This makes a light, but satisfying meal anytime of the day.  It would make a wonderful breakfast, luncheon, or dinner dish.  This dish is so simple and the flavors are just wonderful.  Basically all you need to do is crack a few eggs in the bubbling tomato sauce and cook them just until the whites set around the yolks.  In other words, poached eggs in tomato sauce.  It is that easy!

In Italy, this dish is know as Uova in Purgatorio.  The history of this dish remains a mystery to me as my research has come up with basically nothing.


Eggs In Purgatory


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Eggs Baked In Tomato Sauce - Eggs in Purgatory Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
28 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Sicilian
Keyword: Eggs Baked In Tomato Sauce Recipe, Eggs in Purgatory Recipe
Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Basic Tomato Sauce per person*
  • 1 egg per person
  • Coarse salt, sea salt, or fleur de sea
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), freshly grated, at room temperature
Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce Instructions:
  1. In a frying pan (large enough to fit the amount of eggs you want to use), place prepared tomato sauce; bring to a simmer.  NOTE: If you are using a thick sauce, just before adding the eggs, make a well with a spoon for each egg.

  2. One at a time, break each egg onto a saucer or into small cups or bowls.  Slip eggs carefully into simmering tomato sauce by lowering the lip of each egg-cup 1/2-inch below the surface.  Let the eggs flow out.  Sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese.

    Cracked Egg
  3. Immediately cover with a lid and turn heat on low.  Set a timer for exactly three minutes for medium-firm yolks.  Adjust the time up or down for runnier or firmer yolks.  Cook 3 to 5 minutes, depending on firmness desired.  Lift each perfectly poached egg from the tomato sauce with a slotted spoon or spatula.

    Eggs in Tomato Sauce
  4. Before serving, sprinkle with additional grated cheese over the top (if desired) and season with salt and pepper.

  5. How to serve:  These delicious eggs may be served as cooked, or over thickly-cut crusty bread, cooked pasta, cooked polenta, and/or mashed potatoes.  Your choice, so be creative!

Basic Tomato Sauce Instructions:
  1. This basic tomato sauce can be used for spaghetti, ravioli, chicken Parmesan, or anything else that you want! It is very quick and very easy to make and tastes delicious!  Anything from seasoning to spices can be added to flavor the sauce.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook and stir another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning.  Season with salt.  Cook until completely heated, another 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. For a smooth sauce, place mixture in your blender or food processor and process until texture that you want.

  4. Makes approximately 3 1/ 2 cups (enough for 4 to 6 servings).

Recipe Notes

* Either use your own homemade tomato sauce, leftover tomato or spaghetti sauce, or bottled prepared spaghetti or marinara sauce (your choice).  Need enough to cover the bottom of the pan you are using.



Egg Recipes    Tomatoes   

Comments and Reviews

One Response to “Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce – Eggs in Purgatory Recipe”

  1. Jeffrey Corabi

    You have to search in Italian to find the meaning of Uova in purgatorio. Here is the translation of the meaning. “The origin of the name “eggs in purgatory” is very particular, and it is worth mentioning it briefly: in Naples it often happens that you come across votive icons representing the souls in purgatory, depicted in flames; the clear eggs surrounded by the red of the tomato sauce recall these images, very much alive in the traditional Neapolitan culture from which the eggs in purgatory originate.”


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