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Eggs in purgatory

Ed Smith

An Italian version of shakshuka, with a fiery punch of nduja

Recipe Meta


5 mins


15 mins






  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sourdough (or similar), toasted
  • Nduja

For one

  • Light olive oil
  • 25g nduja
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 medium eggs


  • 1 small heavy-bottomed sauté pan or skillet, suited to holding 2 eggs

For two

  • Light olive oil
  • 40g nduja
  • 2 large cloves of garlic garlic, finely sliced
  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 20 basil leaves
  • 4 medium eggs


  • 1 medium sauté pan or skillet, suited to holding 2 eggs


Put the sauté pan or skillet over a low heat, add a dash of light olive oil and the nduja. Allow the nduja to warm for 1 min and begin to melt (not fry), poking the paste a little and spreading it around the pan while the fat turns from solid to liquid. Add the garlic slices and cook for 1½ mins, softening rather than browning the garlic.

Put the tomatoes in the pan, along with 50ml water. Increase the heat to medium and place a lid on top, leaving for 10 mins so that the tomatoes start to release their juices, split and sink down a bit. Stir after 5-6 mins to check the tomatoes are boiling, not burning, and squash them with a fork to encourage their collapse.

After that time, remove the lid and let the tomatoes cook for 5 mins more, reducing and thickening a little. Add the sugar, vinegar and a heavy pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper, then stir half the basil leaves in.

Once the basil leaves have wilted, create two (or four) areas for the eggs to be cooked in, by pushing the remnants of the tomatoes around. Crack the eggs in and put the lid back on top. Cook for 3 mins.

Garnish with the remaining basil leaves and a good glug of peppery olive oil and serve with toast spread with nduja (for those who like things hot).

Image: Ed Smith

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