Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory
Staff Writer
Eggs in Purgatory
Francesca Borgognone

Eggs in Purgatory

An ongoing debate in the Borgognone house, is whether the children are Sicilian or Barese. As in, are we our mother's child (Barese) or our father's child (Sicilian)? My brother is a strong Barese (momma's boy), my sister hates all dialect, ergo she doesn't count, and myself, at 23 years, the verdict is still out. Though I love panzerotti from my Nonna's town of Adelfia, my ultimate comfort food as of late is "uova in purgatorio" or eggs in purgatory, which is a staple of my Sicilian grandmother.

In any case, this one pan breakfast/dinner/brinner dish is so rich in taste and hearty in texture, especially with the perfect wingman piece of soft ciabatta or an uber-crunchy bialy. With a still-simmering sauce and the never failing flavor of egg yolk, take one dip and you'll be sold, I promise.

Click here to see What Are Heirloom Eggs? 


  • 2 olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 white wine
  • 1 tomato paste
  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic. When the garlic starts to turn golden, add the tomatoes. Place lid and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add white wine, tomato paste, and basil, and stir. Cover again for another 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and sauce-like. Crack the eggs directly into the sauce and let cook, uncovered, until they are to your liking. Add salt and pepper for taste and serve. 

Egg Shopping Tip

The fresher the better. Eggs in supermarkets don't even have half the flavor of fresh eggs. Try to make some time and head to the nearest farmer's market and treat yourself to some farm fresh eggs. They may be pricier but you get every cent back in flavor and a golden orange yolk.

Egg Cooking Tip

With eggs, cooking at a low temperature is almost always preferred. It allows the eggs to keep better texture. Also if you ever mix your uncooked and hard boiled eggs, do not fret. A trick to distinguish the two is a spin on the counter top. Hard boiled eggs will spin with ease while uncooked eggs won't get any momentum.