Eggs in Purgatory…or Poached Eggs in Italian Ragu

Eggs in Purgatory…or Poached Eggs in Italian Ragu
The name “Eggs in Purgatory” originates from the Catholic faith, with the poached eggs representing “souls” and the tomato sauce surrounding them representing “Purgatory”. The big idea being that the souls are suspended between Heaven and Hell.


I came up with this spooky dish after scavenging through my freezer to discover an assortment of smoked and cooked meats that I’d squirreled away who knows when. Yippy skippy! I scored big time!

And that’s why when I cook, I cook for at least two days and freeze the leftovers. You never know when you may need these delicious morsels. Be sure to label and date what you freeze so you know what you’re dealing with.

This Halloween-themed dish is all part of my outrageous Halloween pumpkin centerpiece and Halloween Buffet Menu including Frankenstein’s Bones, Oiled Intestines, Charred Garden Veggies, Maggot Salad, and Red Devil Cake with Green Slime Icing. Boo! Let’s get killing…I mean cooking…

Serves 6

[ingredients title=”Equipment”]

  • Large casserole or dutch oven, with lid
  • Chef knife
  • Can opener
  • Small ladle


[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 rib of celery, diced small
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, halved, sliced in half moons
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C red wine
  • 1 T Italian chili paste
  • 1 T tomato puree, (my favorite is Taste5 Bomba! XXX)
  • 1 t Tuscan herb salt, (my favorite comes from KL Keller)
  • 3 C assorted cooked meats, smoked, cured sausages, and hanger steak, chopped
  • 2 – 24 oz. cans Italian peeled tomatoes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Sprigs of thyme
  • 6 Extra-Large eggs
  • 2 T Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 T Basil, chopped


[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Heat casserole dish and add oil, then follow with onion, celery, and carrots — this is called a “mirepoix” – 50% onion, 25% carrots, and 25% celery). Add leeks and saute until softened, then add garlic.


2 . Deglaze with red wine and reduce by 1/3 to cook off alcohol from wine. Stir in chili paste, tomato puree, and Italian season salt. Simmer for 5 minutes.


  • 3. Add assorted meats and sausages. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Chopped, cooked beef and smoked pork sausage
  • Addition of meat, tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme
  • 4 Make 6 wells with the ladle. One at a time, drop an egg into each well, cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes, or until eggs are done.
  • Cracked eggs into wells of Italian country ragu
  • 5. Garnish with herbs and serve with crusty bread or over pasta.
  • Eggs in Purgatory sprinkled with herbs
  • Eggs in Purgatory as part of a Halloween Menu Buffet

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