Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. The word shakshuka means “a mixture” in Arabic slang, specifically Tunisian Arabic. Tomato based stews were common throughout the Ottoman Empire but were originally cooked with minced meat or livers. Jewish communities in the Ottoman Tunisia created the pareve version with eggs in place of meat. To me, Shakshuka always hits the spot. It's kind of a no-brainer. Healthy, low maintenance, great depth of flavor; lots of veggies, lean protein, what more could a girl ask for? And though this is traditionally a breakfast dish, I often use it for an inexpensive and easy weeknight dinner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper
1 28oz cans crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Up to 8 eggs
Parsley or cilantro, optional for garnish
Finely dice the shallots and mince the garlic cloves. Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime dice the jalapeno and bell pepper. When the shallots and garlic are fragrant, add the peppers and cook until soft, stirring often, about another 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices to the pan and stir to combine. Cover the pan and cook the sauce for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the flavors to develop and for the sauce to thicken.
When the sauce is ready, use a wooden spoon to make a small well in the sauce and drop the egg into the well. If the sauce is too runny and the wells do not form, continue to cook the sauce to allow it to thicken. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cover the pan and cook until the whites of the egg set. For a more done yolk, continue to cook for longer. Garnish the dish with fresh herbs and serve with fresh pita.