What a great crossword puzzle word, eh? But it’s actually a North African/Israeli dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It has been in the back of my mind to try since I saw a customer eating it at Tatte’s Bakery in Boston. The Sunday Boston Globe magazine just featured Shakshuka, my son’s girlfriend said it was easy to make…so it seemed like the time was right.

I own the cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov so I read his version of shakshuka. He used tomato paste which is not what most other recipes call for so I looked around for a couple other versions. The NYTimes had one with tomato puree and feta (my sister will like that one!) as did Smitten Kitchen. The bottom line is that it is a pretty forgiving, open-to-interpretation meal.

Here’s the recipe. It’s meant to be a breakfast dish but it was a perfect Tuesday night meal served with some challah toast.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
    1 yellow onion, chopped
    5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 small tin chopped green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon zatar
  • 2 yellow or red peppers, chopped finely
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • some form of bread to soak up all the sauce

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, zatar and chilies and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with bread.



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