Eggs in Purgatory with Capers and Parsley

By • June 8, 2017 7 Comments

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Author Notes: The tomato sauce I make is a cross between an arrabbiata, known for its chile flakes, and puttanesca, with its briny caper and anchovy flavors. If you don’t like capers, feel free to omit them. Because the capers and their juice already have a lot of salt, be careful to only add a very small pinch to the onions and the sauce, or you may end up with an over-salted dish.

Chances are you’ll think the eggs aren’t done when you take them out of the oven, but they should have just turned white and still be rather jiggly when you shake the pan. The eggs will continue to cook when you take them out of the oven, so overcook them even slightly, and the yolks will harden (which makes the dish a lot less fun).

Lastly, I like to fry my bread in a pan with a little olive oil on the stovetop, but you can toast thick slices in the oven for the last couple of minutes while the eggs are baking. Or hey, use a regular toaster or toaster oven—whatever floats your boat.
Karen Palmer

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Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 pinch chile flakes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon capers, plus 1 tablespoon of juice from the jar
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Thick-cut toasted bread, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in an 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the chile flakes and warm until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, season them with a small pinch of salt, and cook until translucent, 7 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to burn them. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, then stir in the capers and caper juice. Season with another small pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly, 20 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, create 4 small wells in the sauce. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until the eggs have just turned white but still jiggle when you shake the pan, 9 to 10 minutes.
  6. Season each egg with a little salt and pepper. Garnish the dish with the chopped parsley and Parmesan, and drizzle olive oil over the top. Serve immediately with thick slices of toasted bread for dipping.

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