Eggs in purgatory is a classic Italian dish of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce. My version is baked and served with crusty garlic bread for a super-quick, super-easy weeknight meal.
Lately I've been thinking more about where my food comes from, and what happens to it before it gets to me. There's a lot of information out there, and it's hard to get to the truth sometimes.
Does it matter if your carrots are organic if you're peeling them anyway? Does turmeric really cure cancer? (Actual things I've recently googled. And I still don't know the answers!).
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So I'm trying to be more mindful about what my family eats, and what I buy. But I'm not trying to overhaul my grocery-buying habits overnight. Instead I'm addressing one thing at a time, and gathering information to make informed decisions.
I plan to tackle the meat and poultry we buy first, with a kind of three-pronged approach:
- buy and eat less meat to begin with
- buy more ethically-raised meat and poultry,
- diversify the kinds and cuts of meat we buy to help reduce some of the waste in the industry.
If you're interested in exploring that last point, I encourage you to check out Diversivore, a great source for information and recipes, dedicated to the idea of food diversity.
So one little decision I recently made was to start coughing up the extra two bucks for the organic free-range eggs. We buy a dozen eggs roughly every two weeks, so this was far from being a big sacrifice for us.
I think they taste better, but more importantly, I feel a little better about eating them, and feeding them to my family.
If you have any other tips for eating and shopping more ethically, I'd love to hear them!
Anyway, those eggs were splendid in these baked eggs in purgatory. This dish might be better known to you as "shakshuka", or just baked eggs in tomato sauce. It's often served for breakfast or brunch, but makes a terrifically simple weeknight meal too.
I served it with garlic bread, which was perfect for soaking up the homemade marinara (feel free to use store bought!).
I will admit to keeping the spiciness of the marinara in the kid-friendly zone, but feel free to adjust the crushed red pepper to your liking.
I like to make the marinara ahead of time. After that, dinner is just a question of cracking a couple of eggs in the sauce and baking until the whites are set, but the yolks still runny.
The garlic bread can also be made ahead and frozen, and either thawed and baked, or baked from frozen.
Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would love it if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Baked Eggs in Purgatory with Garlic Bread
Baked Eggs in Purgatory
- 2 cups marinara sauce homemade (recipe below) or store bought
- 8 large eggs
- 2 ounces grated cheese (parmesan, or whatever you like)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes I like to get San Marzano, or other quality tomatoes for this sauce
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped of any fresh herb such as basil or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste!)
- 1 loaf french bread or ciabatta
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano (optional)
Baked Eggs in Purgatory
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Divide the hot marinara sauce between four shallow oven-safe bowls (or use one large oven-safe skillet). If using store bought sauce, heat it up in a medium saucepan first.
- Create wells in the sauce for the eggs. and crack the eggs into the hot sauce. Sprinkle cheese around the eggs.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until egg whites are set, but yolk is still runny. Serve with garlic bread.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and seasonings and smush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher to break them up and release the juices.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low to simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. By the end, the sauce should be thickened, and reduced by about a third.
- In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, olive oil, garlic and oregano (if using).
- Split the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise, and spread the garlic butter evenly on both sides.
- Cut each half into 4 inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Bake alongside the eggs until golden brown.