With food, I sometimes get obsessive. I’ve been thinking about uova al purgatorio for months, ever since a friend of mine sent me a link with a picture and a recipe. Unfortunately, I can’t find that link, but I found this one. It sounds better anyway. And there’s a totally awesome Tiny Kitchen video of it, too. However, I didn’t want my meal to be quite that involved. So I decided to simplify. And then I decided I wanted to use Spanish chorizo.
Part One: The Ragu
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 small red onion
- 8 oz. Spanish (i.e., dry) chorizo, sliced thin
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced into 14-inch strips (Heat on a gas burner or under the broiler until charred; place in a tightly sealed paper bag for about 15 minutes; then remove. Peel off the skin with your fingers and seed.)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- A bit of wine
Heat the oil in a narrow saucepan over medium heat; slice the onion in half through the root, and peel it. Place the two onion halves in the pan cut side down and cook for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent scorching. Be careful not to burn the onion; it can turn the sauce bitter. (Lower the heat of you need to.) Remove the onion and reserve for another use. Add the chorizo and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, the red peppers, and a pinch or two of salt. Add the cinnamon and a splash of wine, if you like. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about three hours. Do not skim the fat. During this time, the tomatoes should completely break down, and you’ll be left with a thick sauce. Taste. Adjust for seasoning.
Part Two: The Main Dish
- 1 recipe ragu, above
- 8 eggs
- parmigiano reggiano cheese
Place the ragu into a wide saucepan with a lid. Thin with about half a cup of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat until the sauce is barely simmering. Working quickly, break the eggs into the sauce, season them with salt and pepper, and cover the pan. Cook about four minutes, or until the eggs are poached to your liking.
I served this dish on top of crispy polenta cakes.