Eggs in Purgatory are a typical dish of peasant cuisine. These are fried eggs enriched with tomato sauce, salt, oil and parsley: a delicious recipe, cheap and easy to make. Ideal for a last-minute dinner, or when you have little desire to stay in the kitchen.

It seems that the name of the dish derives from the contrast between the white color of the egg and the red of the tomato: this, in particular, would recall the souls of purgatory wrapped in flames.

The preparation is very simple and you will need very few ingredients:

1 clove garlic

1 egg per person

1 cup  tomato puree or peeled tomatoes

 Salt/black pepper



To prepare eggs in Purgatory, start by pouring a little oil into a pan

Add the peeled garlic and fry for a few moments.

Add the tomato puree

Season with salt and  and pepper and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Once the sauce is cooked, remove the garlic(optional, somebody likes the cooked garlic)

Place the eggs on the sauce taking care not to break the yolk and keeping one distant from the other: cook the eggs over low  heat covering the pan

Usually they are ready after 5 minutes

Once the eggs are cooked, remove them from the heat.

Salt the surface of the eggs

Perfume them with chopped parsley.

Serve your eggs hot : accompany everything with slices of toasted homemade bread.


We suggest you consume the eggs in purgatory immediately: you can still keep them in the fridge for 12 hours, tightly closed in an airtight container.

If you like, you can add chopped or powdered chili, pepper or paprika. The trick to get a perfect result is not to overcook the yolk, so that it remains soft.

There are several variations of the dish. The eggs in purgatory with peppers are obtained by cooking the red and / or yellow ones reduced to strips together with the tomato puree and then continue with the traditional recipe.

The eggs in Purgatory with peas, add peas in the sauce and chilli to taste. If you use a lot of chili they become in Hell

. If you prefer, instead of in a pan, you can cook the eggs in Purgatory in the oven. In this case, however, pay attention to the cooking times.

It is interesting to see how Catholic influence is in the common way of speaking thinking about Purgatory which is the condition, the place of purification or temporary punishment in which, according to Catholic belief, the souls of those who die prepare for Heaven.

 On the other hand Hell is fiery red  like a tomato sauce and hot like chili pepper.