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    Poached eggs in tomato sauce and spicy roast peppers with Grana Padano Riserva

    Group 393


    Group 382

    2 people


    30 min

    This dish is called “uova in purgatorio” in Italian, which literally means “eggs in purgatory”! Honestly no one is really sure on why this dish has this strange name. If you ask me, when I make this recipe, it feels more like I’m in heaven rather than in a place of penance but who am I to argue with traditions! This extremely easy and delicious dish is said to be Neapolitan but variation of it can be found all over Italy, as it is the true representation of what ‘Cucina Povera’ is, the art of making the best out of humble ingredients.
    My simple fresh tomato sauce is enriched with a piece of Grana Padano rind during the cooking, a traditional way of using the rind that really gives a kick of umami flavour to the ‘Sugo’, the so important base of the recipe. Roast peppers, herbs and crusty bread are the perfect accompaniment to take this humble looking dish into your breakfast (or any meal) favourite list. Trust me on this, you have to try it!


    • 4 free range eggs
    • 4 small red peppers
    • 600 gr of San Marzano tomatoes and tin (crushed)
    • ½ white onion
    • 1 sprig of basil
    • 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 sprig of parsley
    • 1 tsp of dried chilli
    • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 piece of Grana Padano rind
    • About 40 gr of grated Grana Padano Riserva (aged over 20 months).
    • Salt and pepper
    • Crusty bread


    STEP 1

    First roast your peppers. Rinse and dry and bake at 200 °C for about 20 minutes (or until softened and the skins start to colour). Remove from the oven and let them rest in a sealed bag or container to steam, this step will loosen up the skin and it will be easier to peel them.
    Peel carefully and remove the seeds then chop the peppers roughly and dress with salt, chili (optional), the crushed garlic clove, balsamic vinegar, chopped parsley and a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to intensify the flavour.

    STEP 2

    Get the tomato sauce going by sweating the thinly sliced onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add a few leaves of basil to infuse the flavour and gently fry for 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, season with salt and add the Grana Padano rind. Simmer for about 20 minutes covered with a lid and mix gently every now and then, until it is reduced and flavourful.

    STEP 3

    Remove the rind and the cooked basil and add a few spoonfuls of marinated roast peppers. Bring back to a gentle simmer and carefully drop one egg at the time into the pot, making sure there is enough distance between them. Now cover with the lid and cook very gently for about 5 minutes, so that the egg whites cook, and the yolks stay soft.

    STEP 4

    Only now, turn off the heat and season the eggs with a touch of salt and pepper and sprinkle with the grated Grana Padano Riserva. Cover again with the lid and leave to rest for a minute to melt the cheese.

    STEP 5

    Garnish with fresh basil leaves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy with crusty bread.

    Chef’s tip

    I use chunky tomato sauce, but you can swap it for a smooth passata if you prefer a velvety texture. You can also swap peppers for any other veg you like and add pancetta if wanted. I always top my eggs at the end with a lot of grated Grana Padano, then turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave to rest a minute for the cheese to melt. Lastly, this same egg-cooking process can be applied to any sauce you might have left over, such as Bolognese or Grana Padano cheese sauce.