Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Poaching in Purgatory

Uovo in Purgatorio al Forno, in Sugo di Pomodoro, Menta & Basilico
Puff Pastry Baked Egg in Mint & Basil Tomato Sauce

This simple little dish, is based on the Italian classic of "Uova in Purgatorio" or "Eggs in Purgatory", which is basically eggs, poached in a tomato sauce, rather than in water... totally delicious with a little bread to go with it. And this evening, coming home at 8pm and having next to nothing in the fridge... and no bread at home... I came up with this simple idea to make the most of the few things I did have... eggs, canned tomatoes and the last little bit of puff pastry... and who knew it would work out so wonderfully?!

I love the combination of egg, tomato and mint- so quintessentially Sicilian and such a comforting and nostalgic flavor for me. Whether in the form of my favorite Sicilian fried bread, with sun-dried tomatoes and mint, or any other incarnation, this egg in purgatory is guaranteed to bring you one step closer to heaven... so go ahead and enjoy!

To make this, I cut out a circle of puff pastry to line my dish and from the left-overs, I cut a couple of straight strips which I applied to the outer edge. I popped my base into the oven for 5 minutes or so, to begin baking and in the meantime, quickly improvised the tomato sauce. To do so, I took diced tomatoes, straight from the can and added a little finely diced shallot, a little crushed garlic, and a little finely chopped parsley, basil and mint. I stirred these together with the tomato pieces, seasoned with salt, pepper and a tiny pinch of sugar and got ready to add it to my pastry base.

I spooned in the tomatoes evenly and then cracked an egg and added it more or less in the middle... which wasn't so easy because the egg whites tend to have a mind of their own!
In any case- back into the oven it went, at 350°F for 10 minutes or so, until the egg had set nicely. The yolk DID tend to turn a little firm on the top surface, but fear not... once you cut  into it, you will find that it is lovely and liquid and delicious!

So after maybe 20 minutes in all, my admittedly simple dish was ready... and at that point, after a 12 hour workday... so was I!

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