Thursday, September 24, 2009



According to Dante, the Mountain of Purgatory was the only land that existed in the southern hemisphere.  It came into existence because of the displaced rock which resulted when Satan's fall created hell.  Now, I am happy to report that I have found a slice of Purgatory in downtown Naples.  It's not really a place you can stay -- more like something to pass.

Located along a narrow street in the district of Spaccanapoli (the Spanish Quarter) on via Tribunali, the Santa Maria Church of the Souls of Purgatory has a baroque facade and a guady show of skulls and femurs adorned daily with fresh flowers and candles.  

It was erected in the early 1600's by Neapolitan noble families seeking a place for their burial crypts.  Today, the church still has a small underground.  Unfortunately, Purgatory is currently under construction and closed to the public.  There is no estimated time when it will open again.  But the cross street, named Vico Purgatorio Ad Arco, certainly gives a feel of what it might be like to take a walk down purgatory lane.

La Cucina Napoletana:  I'm unclear about the origin of today's dish.  It's not strictly Neapolitan, but tasty and a wonderful quick meal to make at home.

Uova Al Purgatorio
(Eggs of Purgatory)

4 fresh eggs
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 chili pepper

Heat the oil in a pan until hot and then add sliced chili peppers.  (The dish is meant to be served spicy, but you can add as much or as little as you like.)  Add the can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring here and there.  Add a pinch of salt and thyme.  Crack the eggs into the pan.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the eggs turn white.  Serve the eggs hot accompanied by the spicy sauce and garnish with basil leaves.  

1 comment:

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

"It's not really a place you can stay -- more like something to pass."

...Thankfully! :-)

Actually, I've been waiting for this church to open for a while. I can imagine that it's a real gem on the inside.

Let me know when it opens, OK?