Uova Purgatorio

Follow Francesco Mazzei’s recipe and enjoy rustic Italian style eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce with herbs and Calabrian ‘nduja.

Devilled eggs these aren’t – Italians prefer to take theirs in purgatory, allowing the eggs to cook away on the surface of a fiery, irresistible sauce. This is a breakfast to serve up on one of those Sundays when getting out of bed has been hard enough, and getting out the door would seem impossible without something uncompromising to kick off the day.

8 medium free range eggs
4 quail eggs
200gr roasted peppers
20gr ‘nduja
500gr tomato sauce
200ml chicken stock
4 slices sourdough bread
20gr fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil


Boil the quail eggs for about two minutes and cool them down in iced water. Peel them and set aside for later.

In a shallow cast iron casserole dish, throw in the diced roasted peppers and nduja on a low heat with a glug of olive oil. When the nduja is melted add the passata, roughly chopped basil and chicken stock. As it starts to simmer, put in four free range eggs and allow them to cook slowly over the surface of the sauce.

Meanwhile, poach the four remaining eggs, when almost ready add to the sauce along with the quail eggs and let it all cook for a minute or two, then serve on toasted sourdough with a drizzle of olive oil, decorating with chervil.