This is a very Mediterranean dish and there are variations from countries all around that area. In some places, it is called Shakshuka and in others, Eggs in Purgatory. It is also a dish that can be made as spicy as you like. It often contains red and/or yellow peppers,.Since I don’t digest peppers very well, my version doesn’t have any peppers.
This is a great dish at any time of year, and is easy to make for one or two people.
Since I am not a fan of a lot of spice, I don’t add a whole lot of heat to the actual dish, but my husband likes the heat, so he adds his own flair with hot sauce and salsa to his own portion after it is served.
You can also finish this dish in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After the eggs have been broken into the tomato sauce, place the uncovered skillet (be sure it is oven-safe) in the preheated oven. Allow the eggs to cook for 5 – 7 minutes until the whites are opaque and the yolks are your desired firmness.
I haven’t prepared it this way, but I have also seen this dish presented in individual earthenware dishes. Once the sauce is ready, spoon the sauce into individual oven-safe dishes. (You could even add additional heat to the sauce in a person’s individual serving at this point.) Then make a well or two in each dish for the number of eggs desired. Place the dishes in the preheated oven and cook for 5 – 7 minutes until the whites are opaque and the yolks are the desired firmness.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced across the rings (from root to tip)
1 large (approximately 30 ounces) can of whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar (taste the tomatoes and add if they seem especially acidic)
1 – 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon hot sauce or to taste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 – 6 large eggs
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and a bit of salt and black pepper. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the softened onions, crushing them with your fingers or snip them into pieces with kitchen shears. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce if using. Continue cooking uncovered over medium heat until the tomatoes and onions and seasonings have melded their flavor and “sweetened” a bit, about 20 minutes.
- Taste the tomatoes and add additional seasonings as needed including more salt, black pepper, and sugar to your taste.
- Using the back of a spoon, make a “well” in the sauce for the number of eggs you are going to cook and gently break an egg into each well. Cover the pan and allow to cook until the whites of the eggs are opaque and the yolks are moderately firm (or to your desired firmness), about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Serve immediately with crusty bread. Your guests may want additional salt and pepper, or even hot sauce.