Eggs in Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory is a delicious Southern Italian dish known by different names depending on which part of Italy you are from. For example, Uova in Purgatoria is called Ova ‘mpriatorio in Neapolitan, or Uova Cunzati in Sicily. This meal is ready in 30 minutes and is the perfect breakfast, brunch or dinner served with your favourite toasted crusty bread. It is a simple, economical and traditional Italian dish enjoyed by many around the world.

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
25 min


  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 spicy Italian sausages
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 -1 tsp ( 5 mL ) red pepper flakes
  • 2-3/4 cups ( 500 mL ) tomato sauce (like passata) or crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL ) kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ( 2.5 mL ) freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ( 2.5 mL ) dried oregano
  • Small handful basil leaves (about 8 leaves), torn
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup ( 250 mL ) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crusty bread like sourdough, toasted (optional)


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle olive oil; add the onion and sauté until translucent. Remove the sausage from their casings and add them to the skillet. Break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. Before the sausage is fully cooked, add the bell pepper and sauté. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the garlic begins to brown, but does not burn. You can deglaze the skillet with up to 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water, if necessary.

  2. Add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. If using diced tomatoes, use the back of a wooden spoon to break down pieces of tomato further.

  4. Stir in the oregano, basil and half of the parsley. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

  5. Break an egg into a small bowl. Use a spoon to make an indent in the tomato mixture and pour the egg into it. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Season the eggs with salt, if desired.

  6. Cover the skillet and cook until the egg whites begin to firm up. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the eggs, and season with pepper, if desired.

  7. When the eggs are cooked as you like, top them with more Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve on toasted bread, if desired.


Created for by Nadia Boachie. Nadia is the creative mind behind Travelandmunchies, a media platform where she explores the world through global recipes she makes in her kitchen. You can find her on Instagram, TikTok or her site, Travelandmunchies.

Shakshuka and Eggs in Purgatory are indeed very similar. Shakshuka being a classic Middle Eastern dish that includes cumin and sweet paprika in the tomato sauce as opposed to common Italian ingredients such as oregano and basil found in Eggs in Purgatory.