Yummy Eggs in Purgatory

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This recipe is a fantastic choice for those in need of a hearty meal, whether to cure a hangover or simply enjoy a satisfying dish. Known by various names and adaptable to different tastes, Eggs in Purgatory are essentially eggs poached in a rich, hearty tomato sauce, served generously over torn pieces of toast or baguette. They represent the perfect blend of simplicity and indulgence.

While you might have encountered diverse versions of Eggs in Purgatory on brunch menus from New York City to San Francisco, there’s no reason to dine out to savor this delightful dish. Making it at home is not only convenient but also budget-friendly.

The foundation of this recipe lies in the harmonious union of perfectly poached eggs and a robust tomato sauce. The eggs, gently simmered in the sauce, absorb its flavors, resulting in a divine combination that’s incredibly satisfying. Whether you’re seeking a comforting breakfast, brunch, or a recovery meal after a long night, Eggs in Purgatory provide a filling and flavorful solution that you can easily prepare in your own kitchen. So, let’s dive into making this delicious dish, right in the comfort of your home.

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Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatory

This recipe is an excellent hangover cure! Eggs in Purgatory go by many names and boast many adaptations. Essentially eggs that are poached in a thick, robust tomato sauce, then generously smeared over or dipped with torn pieces of toast or baguette, they are the epitome of effortless-to-make meets ethereal-to-eat. I’ve seen assorted versions of Eggs in Purgatory on brunch menus everywhere from New York City to San Francisco, but it’s so easy and affordable to make at home that there’s no need to eat out to try them.

  • Author: David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
  • Prep Time: :10
  • Cook Time: :27
  • Total Time: :37
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop


  • 1⁄2 cup farro or barley (Farro, an Italian grain loaded with fiber, also goes by the name emmer. Barley or even brown rice also make fine substitutes.)
  • 1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1⁄2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 eggs


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the farro or barley and cook for about 20 minutes, until just tender. Drain.
  2. While the grains cook, heat the olive oil in the largest cast-iron skillet or sauté pan you have.
  3. Cook the pancetta until lightly browned, then add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 3 minutes, until the onions are softened.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and the farro or barley and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Use the back of a large serving spoon to make 8 small wells in the sauce.
  6. Crack an egg into each well.
  7. Cook over low heat for about 7 minutes, until the whites set but the yolks are still runny.
  8. You can use your fork to break up the whites so they cook more quickly.
  9. Serve with whole-wheat toast for scooping up the sauce.
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