If you Google “Eggs in Purgatory” or “Shakshuka” you’ll find an array of recipes that tweak the same basic formula: eggs poached in a simple tomato sauce. Now, I am near religiously (ha!) against tomatoes and eggs mingling and I’ve discovered I am far from alone on that point, but hear me out: this devilishly delicious dish is the exception and the perfect shareable brunch for two!
If you cook regularly, you probably already have the ingredients you need for the basic tomato sauce for eggs in purgatory; we’re talking diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, and a dash of crushed red pepper (plus some salt). I happened to have some baby spinach and feta in my fridge (I say “happened to have” as though they aren’t staples in my home…) so I decided to dress up the shakshuka by adding in these extras to the easy tomato sauce. You can absolutely ditch them when you make it.
Oh my, it’s rocket science! No, it’s not. Just get rolling by softening the garlic and onion in a touch of olive oil in a small frying pan. This takes 2 or 3 minutes tops – you don’t want to allow anything to brown because it will continue to cook once you’ve added the tomatoes…
The lighting in my kitchen makes it look like I’m cooking by candlelight in some kind of underground cave. Don’t hold it against me.
With the spinach and feta stirred in, we’re ready to poach some eggs. If you have been historically terrible at this, don’t get frightened right now. This is actually the easiest part of this super simple recipe for shakshuka, because the thick sauce holds the eggs together – you don’t have to do any of the work involved in poaching in water. See:
Told you so. Now just cover the pan until the whites are solid and the yolks are still runny. This should take about 5 minutes – but keep checking them.
I highly recommend serving this dish with extra crusty, flaky toasted bread – perfect for dipping in yolk or in sauce. I whipped up a batch of buttery bread sticks in the oven while the sauce was cooking (slice some Italian bread into sticks, butter all sides, then stick them in the oven at 350 until they are golden brown).
Actually, purgatory doesn’t look half bad. Okay, one last gratuitous broken yolk shot:
Ohhh yeahh, baby. Damn near sinful.
Eggs in Purgatory w/ Spinach and Feta (for 2!)
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 medium red onion, chopped small
1 tbsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 handful baby spinach
1/4 – 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Let it sizzle until softened, approximately 3 minutes, but do not allow to brown. Add tomatoes and salt. Allow to cook an additional 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. The sauce should be bubbling – hot enough to poach an egg.
2. Stir in spinach and crumbled feta. Crack eggs one at a time into sauce. Cover the skillet, but check the eggs every minute or so. They are done when the whites are solid but the yolks are still runny.
3. Serve with crusty dipping bread and share with your favorite person. Or just someone you kind of like. Whatever.