Eggs In Purgatory Is The Comforting, Customizable Dish You Should Try

You've had poached eggs, but chances are that they were poached in water — not a decadent tomato sauce. If you're looking to shake up your eggs, let us introduce "uova in purgatorio," also known as eggs in purgatory. Not only is the dish comforting, but it also lends itself incredibly to customization. Trust us when we say that you need to give this decadent dish a try.

Boasting an extraordinary name, the meaning behind eggs in purgatory is somewhat religious. According to La Republica, the wispy egg whites represent the souls stuck in limbo struggling to escape the red and fiery depths of hell, represented by the zesty tomato base. Hearty — and dare we say, sinful! — eggs in purgatory aren't to be confused with shakshuka.

While both dishes are made by poaching eggs into a skillet of savory, simmering sauce, what differentiates uova in purgatorio (aside from its Neapolitan roots) is that it tends to have a garlic-infused sauce, unlike the paprika and cumin-rich recipe of a North African or Middle Eastern shakshuka, notes Delish. Offering more of a blank canvas, making eggs in purgatory to your taste is also incredibly easy.

Keep it simple or load in the ingredients

Breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner, there's never a bad time to eat eggs in purgatory. Since it uses pantry staples and is a one-pot wonder, there's no reason not to love the dish. As long as you serve the dish with some crusty bread or fluffy focaccia to sop up all the saucy and yolky goodness, it's sure to be praised by everyone seated at the table.

Given that the main protagonist in uova in purgatorio is tomato sauce, there's a lot of wiggle room to adjust the recipe as you see fit. In its simplest form, La Cucina Italiana suggests frying onions and garlic and adding fresh herbs like basil or thyme to the sauce to simmer before delicately cracking in the eggs. However, the options are limitless.

Draw inspiration from a Basque-style pipérade and load leftover vegetables like peppers, zucchini, eggplant, or greens into the sauce for a vegetarian twist. If you want to appeal to a more carnivorous palate, that's fine too. While you could use your meat-rich Sunday sauce as a base, Epicurious notes that you can toss in crumbled sausage, ground beef, or pancetta. Add olives, capers, beans, chili flakes, anchovies, or cheese — you can even cook the eggs as runny or as firm as you like. The beauty of eggs in purgatory is that you call the shots!