Folks, the holiday rush is upon us. Did it sneak up on anyone else?

Elsewhere in the food blogosphere it’s time for the mad cookie-making rush. ’Tis the season to blitz the grocery store for butter, sugar, and those festive sprinkles I only find appealing at Christmastime. But lest I get your hopes up, let me state upfront: This post is not about Christmas cookies, nor Hanukkah cookies for that matter (e.g., rugelach). For confection instructions, I leave you in the capable hands of Martha. Or Sunset magazine. Or 101 Cookbooks. Whichever the case may be.

This post is about what you’ll eat in the 15 minutes you have to scrounge up dinner between rounds of baking or pre-holiday work deadlines. You can thank me later for staving off that sugar coma.

A year ago The Kitchn held a brilliant contest soliciting recipes from readers for quick weeknight meals. The results are a treasure trove of quick, nutritious fixes—recipes that are faster than takeout and as a general rule, more wholesome.

Holidays aside, I’m still readjusting to working full-time and commuting beyond my backyard. Speedy recipes such as the one below are more sophisticated than a  “quickadilla” (a microwaved quesadilla, for the uninitiated), but easy enough to fend off the temptation of takeout Thai food. I’ve made this dish twice in two weeks, largely because I have these staples (eggs, canned tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil) on hand on any given weeknight.

Granted, I see the irony in sharing a recipe named “Eggs in Purgatory” around Christmas. I plead innocent to sacrilege.

Uova in Purgatorio

Adapted from Paul, courtesy of The Kitchn

5 eggs
1/2 can of whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano are best)
3 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup torn basil or flat-leafed parsley
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Place 1/2 cup of plum tomatoes, with some of the tomato juice, in a bowl and crush with your hand until the tomatoes are broken but not completely smashed.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over mid-high heat. Slice garlic as thin as possible and add to the hot oil, season with salt and red pepper flakes. When garlic is light brown, a little darker than usual, add the crushed tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.

Cook tomato sauce until you can pull a spoon across the pan and the sauce stays separated.

Make 5 holes in the sauce and crack an egg into each hole. Cover and turn the heat down to medium. When eggs are firm but yolks are still runny add the basil or parsley and plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and you’re ready to eat. Buon appetito! This dish is best served with toasted semolina or other crunchy bread.