Eggs in Purgatory with Corbarino Tomatoes

Eggs in Purgatory, the Italian version of eggs cooked in tomato sauce, has its roots in Campania. “Ova impriatorio”, as it’s known in dialect, is so-called because the egg whites in their fiery red sauce recall the Catholic iconography of souls enveloped in flames. Charming! We’re using the super flavorful, sugary, basil-scented Corbarino tomatoes straight from the jar.

Maida’s Corbarino tomatoes have all the sweetness required to balance out the savory richness of the eggs. Combined with a bold extra virgin olive oil (we like Il Tratturello here), and fruity chili peppers, you don’t need much else for your eggs in purgatory!

The key to this recipe is creating the right consistency for the sauce. Make sure it’s not too thick or too thin. Just reduce it until you can create the hollows for the eggs without them collapsing down on themselves. If you’ve got more people to feed, bulk this up with an extra egg or two, the sauce can take it. The only non-negotiable here is plenty of bread for the table. The scarpetta is heavenly.


TIME: 30 minutes



  1. Drizzle the olive oil in a wide, deep pan and cook the sliced shallot over low heat for 10 minutes until soft. Make sure they don’t burn!
  2. Pour the jar of Corbarino tomatoes into the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then use a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes apart, cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chili peppers and sea salt to taste as the sauce thickens. Fold in a sprinkling of the chopped parsley.
  4. Create 4 hollows in the Corbarino sauce for the eggs to sink into. Make deep-ish holes: you want the eggs to be near the bottom of the pan with their edges surrounded by steaming sauce to help them cook.
  5. Crack the eggs directly into your divots (you’ve just sent them to purgatory!), cover the pan with a lid, and let cook for no more than 5 minutes. You want the whites cooked and the yolks runny.
  6. Turn off the heat, uncover the pan, and sprinkle with Vacche Rosse cheese and more chili peppers if desired.
  7. Serve with plenty of crusty bread. Scarpetta is mandatory!

eggs in purgatory corbarino tomatoes il tratturello