Eggs in Purgatory

Whether it’s shakskuka or uova in purgatorio (eggs in purgatory) or something in between, I love eggs poached in a tomato sauce. This is another dish that I make once a month or so. Uova in purgatorio is just an Italian version of shakshuka. They as such an easy dishes to make for brunch, lunch, or a quick dinner. I make my eggs in purgatory extra easy by using jarred marinara sauce. Sometimes I catch some hate for that on social media, but eh. It still tastes delicious and it’s still easy.

Like my shakshuka recipe, I start the eggs in purgatory by sautéing some diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic.

sauteeing onion, bell pepper, and garlic for the eggs in purgatory.

To make the purgatory part spicy, you could would also add some crushed red pepper flakes once the vegetables start to soften. But, if you can get your hands on a spicy marinara sauce, you can even skip this step. Being from the Kansas City area, I use Cascone’s Bold and Spicy pasta sauce. You can find it at most grocery stores around Kansas City. Or, you can use your favorite marinara or pasta sauce.

Pouring the sauce into the skillet of vegetables.

Let the sauce and vegetables simmer for a little bit to tighten up, then crack in your eggs. Poach them until they are your desired doneness. I like mine with a semi-runny yolk (think a 6 minute hard boiled egg), but my roommate prefers her eggs done hard. So, that’s normally how I cook them when she’s having some of the eggs in purgatory.

When the eggs are done, I grate some Parmesan cheese on top. Then it’s as simple as deciding what bread you want to use to sop up some of the spicy tomato sauce. I normally go with some homemade garlic bread made from an Italian bread loaf or country loaf.

Finished and plated eggs in purgatory.
Finished eggs in purgatory in a cast iron skillet

Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jar spicy marinara or pasta sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


  • Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic over a medium high heat until they are slightly softened.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the jar of marinara sauce. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes until it thickens up slightly.
  • Make little wells in the sauce and then crack the eggs into the little wells created in the sauce.
  • Cover and poach the eggs for 5-10 minutes, depending on the doneness of your eggs. If you want a runny yolk you will poach them for 5-6 minutes or until the whites are set but the yolk still giggles when you shake the pan.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and serve with a piece of crusty garlic toast.

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