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My Family Puts Hard-Boiled Eggs In Our Red Sauce. Does Anyone Else Do This?

Wow...eggs in spaghetti sauce...no 'im-pastas' here. :thumbsup:

My journey to find the origins of a family recipe.

By Felicia LaLomia - Delish - 4 No 22

"For as long as I can remember, my family has been putting hard-boiled eggs in our red sauce. Normally on Sundays or holidays, we gather around the table and fill our bowls with pasta and sauce that's been bubbling away in a pot for hours. While some families fight over the meatballs, we fight over the eggs.

The eggs are a little overcooked. They are transported from hot water to ice water, stripped of their shells, and then simmered in sauce. The slightly chalky yolk crumbles into the sauce, and the cooked white is stained red for a few millimeters. They are a creamy, protein-filled addition to the meal. It adds a surprising richness.

View attachment 1551856

Despite its popularity in my family, I’d never heard of anyone else adding hard-boiled eggs to their pasta sauce. Not people of Italian heritage, or more specifically Sicilian heritage, which my family is—no one. I googled "hard-boiled eggs in tomato sauce" and found some recipes for cracked eggs simmered in sauce and hard-boiled eggs cooked in a vegetable-based sauce. But nothing like what my family does.

I was once told—or so I think I was—that this was a leftover habit from the Great Depression. When meat was too expensive, hard-boiled eggs were used in place of meatballs. I figured the tradition had evolved, and we now just add it to any tomato sauce, regardless if there's meat in it.

My great-grandfather immigrated from rural Sicily to the Buffalo, NY, area in the mid-1910s. With this in mind, I searched for evidence of other Italian Americans doing this. I looked to experts in the field of Italian immigration and culinary traditions. I reached out to food historians, Great Depression historians, and scoured the What America Eats database on culinary traditions from that era.

[...]...We do it all the time,” said Peter LoJacono, president of the Federation of Italian American Societies of Western New York. “Our family loves hard-boiled eggs in the sauce.”

When I asked him about its origins, he said, “It did probably flourish during the Depression, and that gave us a whole new kind of meaning, but I don't think that was where it started. I think it was something that came from [Sicily] and was brought here.”

He told me to google “uova sode in salsa di pomodoro,” Italian for hard-boiled eggs in tomato sauce. I found many recipes for the dish, all in Italian. So it does exist, just not on English websites.

Read More: Hard boiled eggs in red sauce

View attachment 1551857 "Life is a combination of magic and pasta". Federico Fellini

There's no such thing as an overcooked hard boiled egg.
Yeah I have heard of hard boiled eggs in sauce. One family I worked with years ago who were very second gen Italian always did this with their holiday spaghetti meals. My wife's family does the boiled eggs in lasagna they are Italian and Polish so you never know what kinda meal your going to get. My father in law told me his Italian family members who only spoke Italian hated the Polish family members who only spoke Polish. Despite this they seemed to be able to break bread together!
When you overcook them, the outer part of the yolk turns green. This is what causes gas, IMO. I’ve never gotten gassy from properly cooked HBEs.

When my friends cook sap during maple season,
we leave eggs in the boiling sap for hours.
They keep adding sap as it cooks
and the sap is still watery when we take them out.
In Indonesia you often find "telur balado" (eggs being telur) and a balado sauce is basically red chilis, tomato, shallots, garlic, tamarind all ground together, then once cooked, you put whatever you like in it. Hard boiled eggs and you have telur balado. It's pretty good but don't go downwind...
Don't know how I missed this thread.
Interesting concept to say the least. I never "knock" anything until I have tried it.
Per @DrStrange post, wouldn't the yolks be greenish, versus yellow, if overcooked?
Don't know how I missed this thread.
Interesting concept to say the least. I never "knock" anything until I have tried it.
Per @DrStrange post, wouldn't the yolks be greenish, versus yellow, if overcooked?

I have read that,
but myself and others I know,
don't have a problem eating eggs like that,
nor a preference for hard boiled eggs less cooked than that.
I used to put sliced hard boiled eggs in eggplant parm. I got this “idea” from a high school friend that became a chef and he used to serve me his eggplant parm with the hard boiled egg slices at his restaurant and it was delicious. My wife didn’t like it much so I stopped doing it.
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