Poached eggs in tomato sauce / Uova affogate in salsa di Pomodoro / 

Poached eggs in tomato sauce / Uova affogate in salsa di Pomodoro

“Here's a comforting and nutritionally - compact dish Italians are fond of preparing. Like with many Italian dishes, each home cook has their own way of making uovo al pomodoro. Its name, ingredients and form can also change according to the season and the Italian region it is made in. “ Rosemarie Scavo

Credit: This recipe is a common version used in the regions of Campania and Lazio in Southern Italy. Adapted from a recipe by Rosemarie Scavo on the website: http://www.italymagazine.com/recipe/eggs-poached-tomato-sauce


  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium yellow Romano peppers, halved, deseeded and cut into 2 cm strips
  • 700g can tomato passata
  • 1 x can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed in tap water.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • A loaf of sourdough bread, to serve


  1. Note: To avoid breaking the egg yolk during cooking, use eggs at room temperature and if you have them in the refrigerator, remove them at least 2 hours before cooking.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté or frying pan with high sides on a medium heat, add diced onion and cook until tender and translucent.
  3. Add the peppers and garlic and cook over a fairly high heat for 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning, until they start to caramelize at the edges.
  4. Add the cannellini beans then the tomato passata, carefully stir and increase the heat so the sauce comes to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will reduce and thicken.
  5. Press the back of a large spoon onto the surface of the sauce to make four craters the size of an egg. Crack one egg into each crater. Cover the pan and simmer cook for about 8 minutes until the albumen of the egg coagulates, turns white and begins to thicken. If you want the yolk to remain soft, check the cooking often, and remove from the heat as soon as the white has coagulated but the yolk is still soft (about 6/7 minutes).
  6. Turn off the heat and let it rest for a few seconds, then carefully use a serving spoon and put the eggs into bowls and add the tomato sauce. Serve them while they are hot with some freshly sliced sourdough bread. Garnish with chopped parsley.

This is Sketty’s review of the recipe: 

“This hearty Italian meal hit all the right notes for taste and texture, the end result is extremely satisfying. I made it as a hearty supper, but you could easily make this as a mouth watering breakfast to really get your fires burning.

This is an Italian recipe but there is a Middle Eastern dish called Shakshuka which makes the addition of chilli or paprika. I would love to try this again and maybe throw in some smoked paprika at the garlic stage for an added zing.

No zing necessary here though as you have the juicy tomato base, the crunchy piquancy of the yellow peppers and the herbal interest of the parsley. The russet beauty of the base is intensified by the glorious yellow yolks nestled like the sun in a red sky at night. The eggs and the cannellini beans give a creamy texture and give it the feel of a stew – with extra! This would certainly sustain you on the fields of Campania.

I enjoyed this with a slice or two of sourdough bread, which really completes this and soaks up the juiciness. My two-year-old particularly liked pushing a piece of sourdough round the plate loaded with yolky, tomatoey goodness.

The recipe is easy to follow, the ingredients are easy to obtain and many are store cupboard staples. I found it a tad tricky to get the eggs in properly (my bad luck!). Instead of a ladle I would use a wooden spoon and push down to make a groove rather than a dip in the sauce. I think I slightly overcooked my eggs which was my fault but with a two-year-old I’d rather be safe than sorry. I like a well-cooked egg yolk as a preference but you can easily adjust cooking time to taste. Using a sauté pan with a lid made it much easier to steam through the eggs. I may throw in olives next time as I love those dark salty nuggets in almost anything Italian.

Uovo al Pomodoro is a tasty, vibrant, hearty meal filled with Mediterranean flavour that all the family will enjoy at literally any time of day. I’d love to enjoy some golden egg yolks nestled in Pomodoro sauce straight from the pan outside as the sun sets in the Gower”.

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