If you’re tired of the same ol’ egg dishes, shake things up with Shakshuka: eggs poached in (traditionally spicy) tomato sauce. This vegetarian dish is a family favorite and a go-to of ours for busy evenings. Although it has North African roots, it made its way to Israel (where I am from), and is one of the country’s traditional and most-loved meals. At home, we typically skip the customary spiced flare of this dish, but feel free to tweak the recipe to fit your preferences (such as making it spicier, adding different vegetables or even putting ground meat in it).
• 1 garlic clove, minced (can omit if you don’t have any available)
• 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped (you can replace the pepper with other vegetables, such as chopped broccoli or chopped asparagus)
• 1 jar (approx. 25 ounces) of organic pasta sauce (traditional or with added basil or garlic)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 6–7 eggs
• 1/2 tablespoon fresh or dried chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
To add spice (optional):
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
Place large sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter or oil and heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened. Add the minced garlic and sauté until the mixture is aromatic. Add the bell pepper and continue sautéing for about 5–7 minutes until softened. Add the pasta sauce into the pan and stir until well blended. If you prefer the dish spicy, add the optional spices at this point. Add salt and pepper.
One at time, gently crack the eggs over the sauce mixture (try not to break the yolk) and make sure to spread them evenly over the sauce. Start around the outer edges and then add one egg in the center.
Cover your pan, lower the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through. Keep checking to make sure the sauce doesn’t reduce too much to prevent burning. If you like your eggs on the runny side, your cooking time will be shorter.
Garnish the shakshuka with the chopped parsley and serve alongside whole wheat pita bread or sprouted bread, hummus and a chopped salad.
Serves: 5–6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20–25 minutes (Note: To shorten prep time, omit the garlic and peppers, but make sure to serve the shakshuka with a side of vegetables or a salad.)