Tuscan Tomato Poached Eggs

September 20, 2009

Author Notes: In Italy, eggs are often served as a main course and not for breakfast. This recipe is a favorite from my cooking school in Tuscany. We serve it right in the pan it is cooked in and with lots of bread to not waste any of the fabulous sauce.divinacucina

Serves: four


  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
  • 1 birds-eye chili pepper, or chili flakes
  • 1 can tomato sauce, unseasoned
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chives or parsley
In This Recipe


  1. Cover the bottom of a skillet with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the sliced garlic and chili.
  3. Heat until garlic is just golden.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, crushing with the back of a spoon.
  5. Add salt.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn down heat and add eggs, removed from shell, letting them carefully slide into the sauce.
  8. Cover pan and let the eggs poach until the whites are firm.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.

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Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

Author Comment
divinacucina June 15, 2014
you can use canned san marzano tomatoes and cook them until they break down, i prefer the chunkiness. Tomato "sauce" is faster--- as for how much-- depends on how many eggs you cook and how much sauce you love! for my husband and i i do a small can of tomato sauce for 4 eggs in a small skillet ( probably 9 inches)
Andrea June 15, 2014
When you say, "1 can tomato sauce", how big a can do you use? 28oz or smaller?
Author Comment
divinacucina November 30, 2015
sorry never saw these questions-- depending on how many people are eating! a small can of tomatoes, i use san marzano from italy, and i smash them. Probably 2 cups. about 8 ounces.
pierino October 10, 2009
The original recipe is called "eggs in purgatory" and comes from Naples. I recently prepared it for a baker's dozen friends and actually did bake it but it does require quick plating so that the yolks don't set to hard. I used a deep sheet pan for the sauce in a 400 degree oven.
vvvanessa September 21, 2009
looks wonderful! eggs+tomato sauce+a little spice+lots of bread= a favorite meal of mine!
Amanda H. September 20, 2009
Quick question: do you mean tomato puree or tomato sauce?
Author Comment
divinacucina November 30, 2015
sorry never saw these questions. I use a 8 ounce can of tomatoes and smash them to cook down faster and i like the rustic quality of the pieces of tomato.