As it’s World Egg Day and I’ve seen a few of these Shakshuka recipes around, I thought I’d share my version!
Apparently, Shakshuka comes originally from North Africa, Tunisia in particular and is basically a spiced vegetable stew with eggs. The name originates from the Arabic for “a haphazard mixture” and it can be served for brunch, lunch or evening meal, so it’s very versatile. It’s traditionally cooked in a cast iron frying pan, but I used a medium non-stick one with a lid. You can vary the vegetables depending on what’s available and you could swap the fresh tomatoes and passata for a tin of chopped tomatoes with their juice. Another idea would be to sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese over the cooked dish – now why didn’t I think of that before I cooked it and took my photos!
The simple egg
A word about the eggs! I’m very lucky that we have a wonderful farm shop, five minutes’ walk away, so I always buy my eggs there as they are so fresh. You can tell a fresh egg when you break it into the pan as the yolk stands up proud on top of the white with hardly any runny white, which is what you need for this recipe otherwise the eggs will just flow all over the veg. Make sure you check on the eggs as they are cooking as it’s very easy to overdo them (which is what I did). Still healthy and delicious though!
Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 courgette, finely chopped or sliced
2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
Salt and black pepper.
2-4 fresh eggs
Chopped parsley and mint
Pitta bread to serve.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and pepper and cook gently for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions soften. Turn the heat down if necessary.
Add the garlic, tomato puree and spices and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute, and then add in the courgette, tomatoes and passata. Keeping the heat low, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the courgette is tender and the sauce has reduced a little. The sauce needs to be able to support the eggs, so make sure it’s not too runny! Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Using the back of a spoon to make an indentation or well in the saucy veg. Crack an egg into a small glass or jug and carefully pour into the well. Repeat this for the rest of the eggs. You can use your spoon to gently heap the veg against the sides of the eggs to try and contain them a bit more.
Place a lid on the pan and carry on cooking for 5 to 8 minutes until the eggs are done to your liking. Take care! It’s really easy to over-cook the eggs and they do carry on cooking even after you remove the pan from the heat.
Sprinkle over the parsley and mint and serve with toasted pitta bread. Delicious!