I am no stranger to eggs in purgatory, but my interest in this dish has been revived thanks to Nigellissima. To cite Ms. Lawson in episode 1 of this fantastic Italian-inspired series on BBC, "egg in a purgatory is absolute heaven when you're feeling like hell" and I couldn't agree more. It's comforting yet bold and super easy to make, perfect for those moments when you need something tasty and familiar pronto!
And who can really resist the glory of a poached egg's runny yolk or gooey strands of melted cheese? (Ok, maybe vegans)
So here's my one of favorite breakfast-for-dinner (or dinner-for-breakfast) meal for one . . .
Egg in a Purgatory
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
half a can (approx. a cup) of diced tomatoes with juices - I prefer the no salt added variety
2 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1 ounce of shredded cheese - I prefer Asiago
1 slice of bread or English muffin
OPTIONAL: handful of cooked meat (chopped bite-sized) and/or leafy greens (rinsed, patted dry & coarsely chopped)
1. Turn stove on high and heat up the oil in a small skillet or wok (ideally one with a lid)
2. Add garlic, chili flakes and about half the scallions and stir until it becomes aromatic; if you have meat, add now.
3. Bring stove down to medium and add diced tomato, ketchup and basil; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
4. Crack egg into the center. If you have greens, sprinkle around the egg.
5. Cover with lid (or large plate) and allow it to continue simmering for 3-5 minutes, or until egg white turn opaque
6. Take lid/plate off, sprinkle with shredded cheese and let it heat for another 30 seconds
7. Turn stove off, top with remaining scallions and serve with bread, using it to sop up the runny yolk, cheese and stew (or if you're lazy like me and dining alone, eat it straight out of the wok/skillet.)