Italian Eggs

Hello Breakfast-Lover and welcome to my Italian Eggs recipe. For this easy egg recipe, eggs are simmered in a hearty tomato sauce before being drizzled with olive oil, spattered with parsley and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Super easy. Super delicious.

Do you have an inner Domestic Goddess? You know the one: That lady inside of you whose smile beams brightest when all the laundry’s done, the house is tidy and dinner’s ready on time?

My inner Domestic Goddess rarely flashes a smile my way. I just don’t have it together enough most of the time.

But there was that one morning…

My in-laws were visiting from the UK and old friends of theirs happened to be in town. We decided at the last minute to have everyone over for breakfast.


Italian Eggs: An easy egg recipe where eggs are simmered in a hearty tomato sauce

I woke up early and jumped into the shower thinking about what I could make. I remembered hearing Nigella Lawsom (inner AND outer Domestic Goddess extraordinaire) talking on The Splendid Table about her Eggs in Purgatory recipe.

Eggs cooked in a hearty tomato sauce? That sounded simple and charming. My inner Domestic Goddess nodded with approval.

“Let’s do that,” she whispered. And I think she took over from there.

Italian Eggs: An easy egg recipe where eggs are simmered in a hearty tomato sauce

I had two big ziplocks of tomato sauce full of Italian sausage, roasted peppers and sweet Vidalia onions in the freezer. I popped them into the microwave to defrost before blow-drying my hair.

As everyone sipped coffee I divided the sauce into two big skillets, turned on the heat and got some garlic bread warming in the oven. I looked around the kitchen. Everything was tidy and under control. She nudged me towards our guests. I sat and drank coffee. I laughed. I talked. I bounced my toddler on my knee. My goddess smiled at me.

When I heard the pans burbling I went back to the kitchen, turned down the heat and cracked in some eggs. My father-in-law and his buddy came around and asked questions, “You’re cooking the eggs in there? Will they turn red? Will they sink? How will we get them out?”

I wasn’t worried by their questions; she was in control here and it would all work out.

I covered the pans so that the eggs could set and I put out bowls of strawberries (washed but greens still attached), whole tangerines and a jug of orange juice. Then I sliced the bread and took the pans off the heat. I drizzled olive oil and grated Parmesan. Then I used kitchen shears to snip snap parsley leaves over it all.

In fact, you can see how easily this recipe comes together in this video:

I carried the skillets to the table and everyone ooooooed, including me.

It was delicious. And simple. And I was relaxed. And my inner Domestic Goddess clapped and cheered. And oh how I basked in her praise!

Italian Eggs: An easy egg recipe where eggs are simmered in a hearty tomato sauce

This is the easy egg recipe that I developed after that perfect morning.

Italian Eggs

This is an easy egg recipe that can be made for breakfast lunch or dinner. I love to serve it with garlic toast. If you want to make this for more than 2 people you can crack more eggs into the skillet. But keep in mind that the eggs need space. A large skillet will accommodate up to 6 eggs. If you need more than that, best to double the recipe and use two pans.


  • a 28 ounce can of petite dice tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or basil)


  1. Pour the can of tomatoes with their juice into a large skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper, the red pepper flakes and the oregano. Warm it over medium-high heat until it starts burbling. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes.Taste. Add more salt if needed.
  2. Use the back of a spoon to nudge some tomatoes apart. Carefully crack an egg into the liquid where the tomatoes used to be. Make space for another egg and then crack it in. Repeat with the remaining eggs. The eggs should not be submerged but should be nestled among the tomatoes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the whites have solidified but the yolks are still runny. Note that with my stove and my skillet I have to turn the pan periodically so that the eggs heat evenly and cook in the same amount of time. You may need to do the same.
  4. When the eggs are cooked to the desired doneness, drizzle each egg with 1/4 teaspoon of the olive oil, top with a small pinch of coarse black pepper and one quarter of the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the parsley over top of everything.
  5. Use a big serving spoon to scoop the eggs along with sauce onto plates. Make sure there's something toast or bread-like around to dip into the eggs and soak up the sauce.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.


It doesn’t require leftover frozen tomato sauce but if you have some, use it. Just make sure that it’s hearty and full of bits and pieces since the pieces act as a mold for your eggs (you’ll see what I mean in the recipe below). Fill your skillet with no more than an inch of the sauce. Proceed as described below.

This recipe was originally part of Brunch Week 2013, when a group of bloggers got together to all share their favorite brunch recipes on their. Here are links to brunch recipes from some of the other brunch weekers shared.

Brunch Beverage Recipes

Irish Cream Coffee by Sweet Remedy
{Grown-Up} Lemonade by {i love} my disorganized live

Brunch Egg Recipes

An Easy Italian Egg Recipe by Cook the Story
Asparagus Tomato Frittata by Big Bear’s Wife
Sausage and Egg Muffins by Small Wallet Big Appetite
Mennonite Gold Hash & Eggs by The Vintage Cook
Brie and Herb Omelette by Noshing With The Nolands
Hangover Breakfast Burrito by Cooking In Stilettos

Brunch Recipes for Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-Type Yums

Almond Croissants by Love and Confections
Granola Pancakes by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze by Katie’s Cucina
Strawberry Scones by Real Housemoms

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Marcona Almond and Duck Fat Brittle by Vanilla Lemonade
Kiwi and Rose Cream Trifle by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Banana “Ice Cream” by Amanda’s Apron
Grilled Strawberry, Brie, Chocolate and Walnut Sandwich by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
Chocolate Coated Mini Donuts by Kokocooks

29 Responses to “Italian Eggs”

  1. maria — June 8, 2014 @ 6:41 am (#)

    Wow! That’s such a delicious and perfect dish for breakfast..will try soon!

  2. anabolic cooking — October 17, 2013 @ 8:40 pm (#)

    The secret to rich flavors in soups, stews,
    curries and stir fryes lies in the aromatics. It’s our job at the cooking college at which I teach to
    examine how food reacts under different exposures to heat.

    The recipes at Fearless Freezer Cooking is broken down
    into several categories that include Beef,
    Breakfast, Dessert, Main Dishes, Chicken, No Thawing Required, Pasta, Pork, and more.

  3. Katie — May 15, 2013 @ 10:53 am (#)

    ummm this sounds divine and your story makes it even more amazing! I love that you were channeling your inner domestic goddess! I think one would be considered a freak of nature if they were like this 24-7! Must try this recipe sometime soon. Love the idea of serving it with garlic bread!

  4. Max @ Hangover Cure — May 8, 2013 @ 10:47 pm (#)

    Crikey, I’d almost forgotten about this one Christine, thanks for the share.

    This is perfect morning after food too.

    My dad, who was French used to do something very similar when I was a kid, he used ratatouille as the base and dropped whatever cheese we had on the top.

    It basically works great with day old sauce and yesterday’s bread, for a real Meditteranean breakfast.

  5. Suzanne — May 7, 2013 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    A long time ago, I watched Mario Batali make eggs in purgatory on Molto Mario, and have always wanted to make it. Your version looks delicious. (oh, and I think I killed my inner Domestic Goddess when I started blogging. Housework is the thing that I let slide when I get busy.)

  6. Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite — May 7, 2013 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    Oh man I hope they have things like this for breakfast in Rome. It looks incredible

  7. Tara — May 7, 2013 @ 3:05 pm (#)

    I have always wanted to make eggs like this, they look amazing!!

  8. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) — May 7, 2013 @ 2:10 pm (#)

    Oh my goodness, this is one of my favorite types of breakfasts ever! (Anything that involves poached eggs + tomatoes.) It’s like an Italian version of Shakshouka! I have an Indian (Parsi) spiced version of this on my blog, too. Yours looks absolutely perfect and gorgeous! I love it.

  9. Katerina — May 7, 2013 @ 1:46 pm (#)

    This is the type of breakfast I would die to see on my table the moment I wake up!

  10. — May 7, 2013 @ 11:06 am (#)

    Oh my goodness Christine, you have out done yourself on this recipe. YUM~ That looks so good. I will have to try this! I mean that looks REALLY good. :D

  11. Ellen Christian — May 7, 2013 @ 10:36 am (#)

    What a yummy idea! I need to try this!

  12. Adventuresindinner — May 7, 2013 @ 10:20 am (#)

    And of course you were awesome! I was totally impressed as an overnight guest.

    • Christine Pittman — May 7, 2013 @ 3:08 pm (#)

      Nah, I failed you my friend. I misread your email about food allergies etc and thought you couldn’t have dairy CHEESE not DAIRY PERIOD. And so there was dairy in almost every part of our meal. But no dairy cheese! Not that that helped you be able to eat it. I felt awful. But it was fun. (Did we even have breakfast the next morning. I had a headache. No memory).


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