Eggs in purgatory (Uova al purgatorio)

4
1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Baked eggs

  • 4 quail eggs
  • 8 eggs

Tomato sauce

  • 150g of white onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g of large ripe tomato, preferably on the vine, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 10g of basil leaves
  • salt

To finish the sauce

  • 200g of roasted red peppers, diced
  • 20g of 'nduja, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 20g of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 200ml of chicken stock

To serve

  • mixed herbs, such as chervil, basil and chives, to garnish
  • 10g of pecorino, grated
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, toasted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 'nduja

Method

1
Start with the tomato sauce. Place the onion and half the oil in a large pan and let it sweat slowly over a medium-low heat for around 15 minutes or until soft. Be careful not to let the onions colour – if it looks like they might catch add a splash of water to the pan
  • 150g of white onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2
Add the tomatoes, season with salt and leave to simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick and rich, but if too dry add a little water as needed. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside
  • 500g of large ripe tomato, preferably on the vine, roughly chopped
  • salt
3
Place the remaining oil in another pan with the chopped garlic and cook over a medium-low heat until almost golden brown. Stir in the basil leaves and strain the flavoured oil through a sieve into the tomato mixture
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 10g of basil leaves
4
Whisk the sauce to break up the tomatoes, then pass through a sieve to create a smooth sauce. Check the seasoning and add a little more salt if needed. Weigh out 500g for the baked eggs and store any remaining sauce in fridge for a few days, or freeze for up to 3 weeks
5
When ready to cook the baked eggs, bring a pan of water to the boil over a medium heat then boil the whole quail eggs for 2 minutes. Carefully scoop out with a slotted spoon and cool immediately in a bowl of iced water. Peel the cooled quail eggs and set aside for later
  • 4 quail eggs
6
Place a shallow casserole dish over a low heat and add the diced roasted peppers and 'nduja. When the 'nduja has softened with the heat, add the tomato sauce, chopped basil and chicken stock
  • 200g of roasted red peppers, diced
  • 20g of 'nduja, plus extra to serve
  • 20g of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 200ml of chicken stock
7
When the tomato sauce starts to simmer, crack in 4 of the hen eggs and allow to cook slowly
  • 4 eggs
8
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and poach the remaining 4 hen eggs until just set. Scoop out and add to the tomato sauce, along with the reserved boiled quail eggs, for the last minute of cooking
  • 4 eggs
9
To serve, divide the eggs and tomato sauce between serving dishes, allowing 1 baked, 1 poached and 2 quail eggs per person. Scatter over the mixed fresh herbs, grate over a little pecorino cheese and drizzle over a little extra virgin oil, serving immediately with the toasted sourdough on the side
  • mixed herbs, such as chervil, basil and chives, to garnish
  • 10g of pecorino, grated
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread, toasted