Sunday, August 28, 2011
I’m not sure how the name Eggs in Purgatory came about, but it’s basically eggs baked in tomato sauce. It’s also my new favorite brunch dish.
The dish is very basic and starts with a good tomato sauce. My go-to tomato sauce is the Rich Tomato Sauce from Marco Canora’s Salt to Taste. The recipe calls for cooking crushed cloves of garlic in olive oil until soft, then adding good canned tomatoes. You cook the tomatoes for about 30 minutes and then puree, adding in chunks of cold butter to make it a little bit creamy along with some fresh basil. I just love how simple it is, and it always comes out great.
I make a lot of variations on Marco Canora’s sauce, so I made a slightly spicy version of it this morning with fresh oregano instead of basil. We had a version of eggs baked in tomato sauce from Posto recently that was very heavy on the oregano, and it was delicious! I also upped the olive oil and garlic a little bit and omitted the butter, thinking that the eggs would provide enough creaminess in the dish.
Once the sauce is ready, the rest comes together quite fast. We used the eggs in purgatory recipe from Serious Eats as a guide for how long and at which temperature to cook the eggs. We also cut and toasted some thick slices of bread to put the eggs on.
Eggs in Purgatory
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
½ tsp. red chili flakes
1 28-oz can tomatoes (we like Trader Joe’s brand)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Thick slices of bread
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the cloves of garlic and chili flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and soft, adjusting the heat if necessary. Meanwhile, preheat the overn to 375 degrees. Add the tomatoes, crushing them a little bit with a wooden spoon. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
When it’s ready, the tomatoes will be broken down and the oil will kind of separate and be on top of the sauce.
Add some fresh oregano (a sprig, more or less) and puree using a hand blender. Taste, and then season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Transfer some of the sauce to an oven proof casserole dish. There will be sauce left over, but it never goes to waste at our house. Crack four eggs into the casserole.
Cook the dish in the 375 degree oven for about 12 minutes. Toast the bread in the oven in the last five minutes of cooking time. To ensure that the yolks stay runny, take it out right as the whites begin to set and all turn white. They might not look quite done, but they will continue to set after you take it out of the oven.
Dip the bread right into the dish, or spoon the eggs and sauce right over the bread. You can also top it with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese and/or some flaky sea salt. It’s such a simple but incredible combination.