top of page
  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

How to Make "Eggs in Purgatory" | The Italian Shakshouka Recipe

"Uova in Purgatorio" is the Italian version of the Mediterranean classic, shakshouka, where eggs are poached in a pan of flavorful tomato sauce. It’s a very simple and quick meal using very common ingredients—a great culinary trick to keep up your sleeve!

How to Make "Eggs in Purgatory" | The Italian Shakshouka Recipe

In Italy, this dish is literally called “eggs in purgatory.” While the fiery, red tomato sauce can look downright hellish, the name probably comes from the way the eggs are suspended in sauce and kept half cooked so the yolks remain runny. They’re not quite incorporated into the sauce until you decide to dig in and eat!

Serving Sizes & Ingredients

You can easily scale this recipe up and cook as many eggs as you like, provided there’s room in your pan and you have enough tomato sauce on hand. Most large skillets can accommodate 3-5 eggs, but if you have a larger one feel free to cook more. Regarding the sauce, you just need enough to fill the entire bottom of the pan with about 1 inch.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make Uova in Purgatorio here:


Makes: 4 eggs

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups (350ml) simple tomato sauce, or enough to fill your pan with about 1 inch

  • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

  • 4 large eggs

  • Salt

  • Fresh basil

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste

  • Large skillet

Fill a large skillet with about 1 inch of tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. If you want to make things spicy, feel free to stir in some chili pepper flakes.

Evenly spaced across the pan, crack in each of the eggs so that they remain whole, suspended in the sauce. Lightly salt each egg, cover the pan and let them cook over medium/low heat until the whites are opaque but the yolks remains runny—about 8-10 minutes.

Garnish the dish with some torn basil leaves and a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately. You can carefully serve the eggs individually (along with plenty of surrounding sauce) using a large spatula or spoon, or you can serve the dish in the traditional way: eaten right out of the pan.

Buon appetito!

You’ll need a very good tomato sauce to make this dish, and we have the perfect recipe! It’s quick, easy, and WAY better than anything you’ll find at the store.

2,346 views1 comment
bottom of page