How to Make Eggs in Purgatory

This recipe is proof that marinara sauce isn't just for pasta.

A Four-Ingredient Dinner

This simple egg dish requires just four ingredients: marinara sauce (leftover or store-bought), red pepper flakes, smoked bacon and, of course, eggs. Toasted bread is optional, but it's great for mopping up the yolk and sauce — you won't want a single drop to go to waste. Here's how to make it, step by step.

By Jennifer Perillo

Get the Recipe: Eggs in Purgatory

Make the Sauce

This sauce can be prepared up to three days in advance. If not using immediately, let it cool completely, and store in the fridge in a covered container. Start by combining the marinara, red pepper flakes and bacon in a small skillet or pot and cook over medium heat until bubbly, for roughly 3 to 5 minutes. While you cook the eggs, reduce the heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, fill a 2-quart pot with water, leaving 1 inch of space from the rim. Bring the water to a boil.

Strain the Egg

Set a small strainer over a bowl. Crack one egg into the strainer, and allow the loose parts of the white to drain off.

Create a Funnel Effect

Place a chopstick or a butter knife in the center of the pot with the boiling water. Stir vigorously to create a funnel effect (it should look like a mini tornado in the center of the pot). Gently slide the egg into the center and reduce the flame to keep the water at a gentle bubble. Cook the egg for exactly 2 minutes.

Remove the First Egg and Repeat

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the egg to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat this process with the remaining eggs.

Plate and Serve

To serve, divide the sauce into two shallow bowls. Place one poached egg in each bowl, and garnish with a piece of toasted bread.