Eggs in Purgatory

2015-07-09 12.00.44- EGGS IN PURGATORY

Today I have been very melancholy about my paternal Grandmother. She was so near and dear to me. I have nothing but wonderful memories of her. 

I was always so proud of her that she came as a young woman to a new country, learned the language, learned the subway system better than any native New Yorker, got a job in the garment industry and took care of her family. 

I don’t think that I could go to another state, let alone another country and settle into a new life. It took a lot of courage. She was simply amazing and we were as close as close could be. She took me to every tourist attraction in New York as a young child and I was just fascinated with her and with her stories of Italy.

And to top it all off, she was a fantastic cook. I wish I had all her recipes today, but that generation didn’t write anything down. It was all by memory. She could make a meal out of whatever you had in the refrigerator with no recipe and in record breaking time and it was always delicious.

She made so many wonderful dishes. At the time we just took for granted that she would always be around to prepare them. You really have to appreciate the ones you love every day, because life can change in a minute.

I love her and miss her so much.


One of the dishes that my Grandmother always prepared for me was

Eggs in Purgatory

and I decided to share it with you today.  I just had to make it this morning to honor Grandma.

Basically “eggs in purgatory” are poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce served with crusty toasted garlic bread. I think this is where I developed my taste for very spicy food.

It is funny how a certain food, certain smell or certain song can bring back so many wonderful memories.


Can serve 2 or 4 depending on how hungry you are. One egg is usually enough with the toast.

4 eggs

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp. of olive oil

15 oz. jar of passata (fresh tomato sauce), or any other tomato sauce you have available

2 tsp basil

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Grated cheese

Crusty bread


Preheat a skillet on med low heat, add 4 tbsp. olive oil, 1 clove of minced garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.

Add passata or any tomato sauce and stir. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, with the back of the spoon make a well in the tomato sauce.

Crack each egg into a ramekin first and carefully add the eggs one by one on top of the sauce in the well. Do not submerge, leave some yellow of the yoke exposed. Repeat with remaining eggs. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cover the skillet for 5-9 minutes. The white should be set and the yolk will still be runny.

During the cooking time, slice some ciabatta bread and place bread slices under the broiler until golden on both sides. Remove from the oven and rub a garlic clove over the bread followed by a drizzle of olive oil and set aside.

When the eggs are done, sprinkle with basil, black pepper and more cheese if desired.

Scoop the eggs out of the pan along with some sauce onto plates and serve with the garlic toast for dunking.

(When it is only me having the eggs, I reduce the ingredients and put the egg in a ramekin and bake it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.)

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it. It is great for brunch with family or friends. 

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!



6 thoughts on “Eggs in Purgatory

  1. verna belgrave

    Hey Diane,

    I’m back, what wonderful memories of your Grand Ma, Thank you so much for sharing them with us also the recipe , looked real appetizing. Amazing

    Liked by 1 person


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