Eggs in Purgatory – Italian Baked Eggs in Garlic Tomato Sausage Sauce

Eggs in Purgatory
Eggs in Purgatory – Italian Baked Eggs in Garlic Tomato Sausage Sauce

Eggs in Purgatory can be considered the Italian version of Shakshuka, which at its core is eggs cooked in a tomato sauce often with other peppers, vegetables or spices. This is a great breakfast dish that really doesn’t take much active time but has an amazing flavor. We love having this for breakfast or lunch, but it is perfect for dinner too! The added Italian sausage makes this dish a bit heartier, and we like the hot variety best for this application.


The most important thing in this recipe is to make sure the yolks are still runny! To ensure we get a runny yolk on the egg, we bake this in a 375°F oven for 12-15 minutes. If you prefer to cook this on the stovetop, simply cover the pan you are using and continue to cook until the whites of the eggs are set.

In the summer, adding just fresh basil instead of the oregano is also a good option, although oregano is perfect year-round. There really are several little tweaks that can be done to suit your taste, so please experiment. A few ideas are adding bell peppers, using a different cheese combination (like asiago and pecorino Romano, or fontina instead of mozzarella.)

Eggs in Purgatory
Make sure to add a hefty helping of grated Parmesan on top of your Eggs in Purgatory and serve with lots of crusty bread!


We hope you enjoy our version of Eggs in Purgatory! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

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Eggs in Purgatory – Italian Baked Eggs in Garlic Tomato Sausage Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Course: Breakfast, BrunchCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



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  • 2 2 links (8 oz) Italian sausage (casing removed) – (230 g)

  • 1 1 onion diced (300g)

  • 4 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (1.2 kg)

  • 1 tbsp 1 fennel seeds (lightly toasted in a dry skillet)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Italian seasoning

  • 1 tsp 1 dried thyme

  • 2 tsp 2 dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • 1 tsp 1 red pepper flakes

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil to coat the pan

  • 1 tbsp 1 salt (see note)

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 balsamic vinegar

  • 4 oz 4 (115g) Cherry/grape tomatoes halved

  • 4 oz 4 Mozzarella balls (ciliegine), halved

  • 4 4 eggs

  • Parmesan and fresh basil or oregano (chiffonade or small leaves) to serve


  • In a cast iron skillet, add oil and sausage to the pan to brown over medium-high for about 5 minutes. Once browned, remove to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add onions to the skillet and sauté for 4 minutes. Then add garlic for 30 seconds. Pour off excess oil if required (this will depend on how fatty your sausage is). And add sausage back to the skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium, and add the cans of diced tomatoes, spices, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat over to 375° F.
  • After 20 minutes, taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Then make 4 small holes in the sauce and crack the eggs in each hole. Add the halved tomatoes and mozzarella, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until the whites of the eggs have set.
  • Once done, remove from oven and garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh oregano or basil.


  • The amount of salt you add may depend on the salt content in your sausage. Start with 1 tbsp and add more if necessary before adding the eggs.

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