Italian Eggs in Purgatory
One day, I really wanted eggs but didn't feel like the usual omelette or scramble, or a even a fried egg on toast - which usually satisfies my egg craving. But while in Park City, we ventured to a spot called five5eeds, an Australian eatery, just a few miles from the main drag of Deer Valley where I experienced total food envy when all of my fellow brunch goers ordered the Shakshouka (a moroccan baked egg dish with feta served with toast and spicy sausage). I ordered a delicious curried cauliflower salad served atop hummus, baby kale, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and topped off with a decadent poached egg. It was rightfully delicious in its own way, but it wasn't the cheesy egg heaven that all my friends ordered. Thus lies the inspiration for the dish below...
Eggs in Purgatory | Italian Style
Eggs baked and poached in a spring garlic tomato sauce with sweet Italian chicken sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
YIELD: 2–3 servings
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
What you're gonna need:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 small spring onions, diced (about 1 cup)
I stalk fresh spring garlic (2 tablespoons)
2 fresh tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup of Trader Joe's marinara sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 - 4 large Phil’s Fresh Eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 sausage (I used sweet Italian chicken sausage)
Chopped fresh basil
Baguette slices or bread, for serving
What you're gonna do:
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the sweet onion (can use onion of your choice here - red, white, yellow, etc) and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the spring garlic (normal garlic is also perfect, but in the spring you really can't beat spring garlic) and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Throw in a [inch of salt while you're at it!
Add in the fresh, diced tomatoes - seeds and all - then toss in those red pepper flakes if you want a little kick. I'm also all about working with what my fridge gives me - and in this case it was 1/2 cup of Trader Joe's marinara sauce that I used while attempting to make Cauliflower Pizza earlier in the week (blog post coming once I stop butchering this recipe)... anyways, I tossed that in there too, which actually added a little oomph to the fresh tomatoes.
Bring to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 3 - 5 minutes. With the back of a spoon, make 2 - 4 indentations in the sauce depending on how many eggs you want to serve. Crack one egg inside of each little nest you made.
I had some left over sweet Italian chicken sausage from the night before, sliced it on the bias and dispersed it evenly around the eggs. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the whole dish, then hit it with some mozzarella cheese as well (... because we all know you can't ever have enough cheese).
Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully, and armed with your oven mitt, remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.
Serve hot with baguette slices or your choice of bread to make it extra yummy.
*** Best served right away and shared with a friend.
I love this dish because the possibilities are endless, here are a few different takes:
Greek style with some feta, lamb sausage, olives, peppers and onions;
Mexican or fajita style with peppers, onions, ground beef, topped with cilantro, avocado and cotija cheese.
Thai curry eggs in purgatory with curry paste, chili powder, Thai basil.
... like I said, ENDLESS. Let me know if you come up with your own variation - I would love to hear about it!
Until next time... Cheers!