eggs in purgatory



Eggs in purgatory is a meal that is at that perfect intersection of deliriously easy and wonderfully impressive.

Step 1: Heat tomato sauce. Step 2: Plop eggs in. Step 3: Cover.

(That’s it.)

I made this for my parents and boy a few weekends ago, when we were in a hurry but still wanted to enjoy a good meal together. My mom (and I, truthfully) have been trying to eat paleo lately, so whatever I made needed to be paleo, filling, and delicious. (Baguette in the photo was for my dad, who, poor thing, doesn’t have access to good bread in Arkansas.)

We had several jars of the incredible (sugar free!) tomato sauce my mom’s friend Stacy makes, so I decided to make eggs in purgatory.

While the sauce was simmering, I made my quick lemony arugula salad and set the table.

Breakfast was ready to go within 10 minutes, and got lots of “oohs” and “ahhs”.

This recipe serves four people (cut in half for 2).


  • 2 jars tomato sauce of choice
  • 8 eggs
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • basil or parsley to top
  • parmesan to top* (exclude for paleo/dairy-free)


  1. In a large pan, heat tomato sauce over medium-low heat. Stir in crushed red pepper for a little heat.
  2. When sauce starts to bubble, add eggs: One at a time, make a little hole in your sauce, then gently crack an egg into it. Repeat for all eggs. Don’t put any of the eggs too close to the edge of the pan (they won’t cook the right way if they’re not surrounded by sauce).
  3. Cover and allow eggs to cook until whites are cooked but yolks are still to your desired level of runny-ness. This is probably around 3-4 minutes. Serve with basil/parsley and parmesan.

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