A Middle Eastern dish with North African origins, Shakshouka puts a spring in your step
A simple recipe Shakshouka is cooked and served in one pan. It is the ideal communal dish for a big family Easter. The eggs are poached in a spicy tomato sauce that really makes them sing – or, at least, cluck tunefully. It’s endlessly versatile, too.
Adding spinach is a popular variation and, later in the year, broad beans or garden peas bring colour and freshness. Some roasted artichoke pieces or little capers make for a more piquant version; duck eggs for a richer one.
Either way, try it with a dollop of yoghurt mixed with herbs and lemon zest. Cooked Merguez sausage, made from spiced lamb, is the best addition to the recipe for carnivores.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
2 red onions, diced
2 red peppers, diced
2 yellow peppers, diced
3 green chillies, chopped
1⁄2 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tins tomatoes
1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
Handful crumbled feta cheese
In a large pan with a lid, toast the cumin seeds for a minute or two, then add the oil and onion.
Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then add the peppers, chilli and garlic.
Turn up the heat until the peppers are cooked.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a further minute, before adding the tinned tomatoes, bay leaf and cayenne.
Add the finely chopped parsley and coriander stems. Chop the leaves for a garnish.
Simmer the sauce for around 15 minutes, adding a little water if necessary (it should be ragu consistency).
Season and taste. The flavours should be intense.
Place the pan on a very low heat and make four small dips in the sauce with a spoon.
Crack an egg into each dip and sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper.
Put the lid on the pan and leave the eggs to poach for 8-10 minutes, or until the whites are just set.
Sprinkle the finished dish with the crumbled feta and chopped green herbs, and serve hot in the middle of the table for everyone to dig in, along with plenty of crusty bread.