I recently received the cookbook, The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwarty. I love Italian food of all varieties. Pasta, gnocchi, antipasti – you name it, I’ll probably shove it in my mouth. So when this cookbook arrived via the KCRW cookbook club I read it cover to cover the same day. And one of the recipes started a craving. Its called Uova in Purgatoria (Eggs in Purgatory). And it is basically eggs poached in tomato sauce. Even though I had never tasted such a thing before it sounded delicious!
Unfortunately, unlike Mr. Schwarty I don’t always have a can of tomatoes (or even fresh tomatoes) in my cupboard. And I didn’t want to go to the grocery just for a can tomatoes. But I couldn’t shake the craving. So I decided to make something that might fullfil my craving.
I imagined that the tomato sauce would be sweet with a slight tang. And though I didn’t have tomatoes available. I did have onion. I know the two are not comparable exactly but I had to improvise with what I had. So I sliced up half a yellow onion and sauteed it in butter. Now I also couldn’t poach the eggs because in the eggs in purgatory recipe they are poached in the tomato sauce. And chopped onions would not work the same way. Instead I fried the egg until the white was solid but the yellow was still a bit runny. Like a poached egg in the yolk sense but far easier.
It is recommended that Eggs in Purgatory are served on crusty bread but I imagined them being served on pasta like spaghetti carbonara. I had egg noodles on hand. I put the sauteed onions on the noodles and topped it with the fried egg. Added a little sea salt for taste and it was ready to eat.
Of course, it was nothing like Eggs in Purgatory but I drew my inspiration from the recipe. It also quelled my craving (though looking over the recipe to write this entry has reawakened it, a bit). And I realized how good fried eggs can be as an ingredient not just as a Sunday morning breakfast.