Eggs in Purgatory


Giuseppe Topo, on Napoli Unplugged, November 16, 2012

Fried eggs.
Like the second part of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Trapped between heaven and hell.

Uova in PurgatorioOva ‘mpriatorio in Neapolitan, or Eggs in Purgatory, this could only be a Neapolitan dish.

Taking its inspiration from Il culto delle anime del Purgatorio, the cult of the Souls of Purgatory, this classic “secondo” comes directly from the pages of Cucina Povera Napoletana. And it is symbolic of the Neapolitan preoccupation with purgatory and the ancient cult that worships anonymous human remains. A tradition that endures in places like the 17th century Santa Maria delle Anima del Purgatorio ad Arco Church in Centro Storico and the Fontanelle Cemetery in Rione Sanità in the scenes of purgatory depicted in the shrines Neapolitans are fond of erecting around the city. And in this culinary rendition of the tradition, where the eggs play the role of souls seeking purification, the sauce, that of the flames of purgatory.

The eggs bubble away in the sauce until the whites are completely cooked, or perhaps we should say, purified. And one can only guess that like the milk from the Virgin’s breast, the breaking of the yolks into the sauce symbolises the extinguishing of the flames. Ouva in Purgatorio, a simple and economical dish that packs a lot of flavour and recalls a tradition that lives on in the hearts and the minds of the Neapolitan people.

Ingredients
1 – 14 oz Can Peeled Tomatoes (or use your leftover Ragù)
4 Eggs
1 Large or 2 Small Cloves Garlic, peeled and halved
Olive Oil
Parsley
Salt and Pepper

Giuseppe de Liguoro, L’Inferno, 1911

inferno-film-1911

“The Italian epic came of age with Giuseppe de Liguoro’s imaginative silent version of the Inferno, loosely adapted from Dante and inspired by the illustrations of Gustave Doré. L’Inferno was first screened in Naples in the Teatro Mercadante 10 March 1911. The film took over three years to make involving more than 150 people and was the first full length Italian feature film ever made. Its success was not confined to Italy it was an international hit taking more than $2 million in the United States alone.

“Tangerine Dream have composed the soundtrack based on their opera of Dante’s Inferno producing a soundtrack truly worthy of their position as one of the top film music composers in the world.”  —L’Inferno film promotional site

Metro Station, University of Naples

metro-station-university-of-naples

“On March 26, the 40,000 commuters of Naples, Italy, who pass daily through the University of Naples metro station found that virtually every surface had been transformed into a candy-colored kaleidoscope by the American designer Karim Rashid. . . . He printed wire-frame patterns on quartz flooring, applied portraits of Dante and Beatrice to the stairs and tiled the walls with words coined in the digital age.” [. . .]    –Shonquis Moreno, The New York Times, April 20, 2011

Contributed by Hope Stockton (Bowdoin, ’07)

Francesco Bertolini, Giuseppe De Liguoro, and Adolfo Padovan, “L’Inferno” (1911)

francesco-bertolini-giuseppe-de-liguoro-and-adolf-padovan-linferno-1911Watch YouTube video clips of Inferno (1911) and Satan Eating Human (1911).

“The Italian epic came of age with Giuseppe de Liguoro’s imaginative silent version of the Inferno, loosely adapted from Dante and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré. L’Inferno was first screened in Naples in the Teatro Mercadante 10 March 1911. The film took over three years to make involving more than 150 people and was the first full length Italian feature film ever made. It’s success was not confined to Italy it was an international hit taking more than $2 million in the United States alone.
Tangerine Dream have composed the soundtrack based on their opera of Dante’s Inferno producing a soundtrack truly worthy of their position as one of the top film music composers in the world.”    —L’inferno.com

Contributed by J. Patrick Brown (Bowdoin, ’09)