Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Devilishly Delicious

Breakfast has always been a struggle for my daughter. She has to have it. We insist. But she just doesn't like traditional breakfast foods.

Over the years, I have fed her everything from baked potatoes (nuked in the microwave) to rice with soy sauce to spaghetti (one of her favorites any time of day). None of them have been a big hit.

Which brings me to Eggs in Purgatory. Sounds ominous. Are they eggs that have sinned too much to go to heaven, but not enough not to go to hell? How could an egg sin? Shattering on impact? Having a too runny or too hard a yoke?

None of the above. Eggs in Purgatory is an Italian-American dish consisting of hand-crushed canned tomatoes, onions, salt, red pepper flakes, eggs and Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese. This is classic Italian-American cooking: simple, cheap and delicious.

I'd never made it until Thanksgiving eve when we needed a snack. I pulled out a recipe, threw it together and gave it to my daughter. She loved it. Couldn't get enough of it. Demanded more.

I agree. It's a great dish, eggs poached in a tangy tomato sauce with a little cheese on top. If St. Peter tasted this, he'd go right to heaven.

Since then, it has become her preferred breakfast. She eats it most mornings before school, scarfing down every bite.

Here's the recipe:

A tablespoon or two of olive oil
A quarter of a medium onion chopped into small to medium pieces
About 3/4rds of a cup of hand-crushed canned tomatoes (I recommend imported Italian)
A pinch of salt and red pepper flakes
Two eggs
Peccorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a small pan on medium low to medium, depending on your stove. When hot, saute onions until soft, but not brown -- about four minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Crack eggs into the tomatoes, turn down heat slightly and cover for three and a half to four minutes depending on how soft you like your yokes. Remove from the heat, grate on cheese and serve.


  1. So glad you're posting again--and this sounds YUMMY. We'll try it for another kid who doesn't like traditional breakfasts.

  2. Thanks! Great to be back. Be interested to see if yours likes it too.

  3. It looks good, too.

    Another success for an excellent cook.