My idea of breakfast heaven, I first encountered shakshuka in Egypt. This is an unctuous and spicy one-pan dish of braised eggs, peppers, tomatoes, cumin, harissa, garlic and chilli, similar to the Turkish menemen or Mexican huevos rancheros. Shakshouka means ‘mixture’ in Arabic slang and the dish is thought to have originated in Tunisia. I’ve adapted this recipe from Ottolenghi and added chorizo, red onion and spinach for added depth. Other tasty additions could be feta or other salted sheep’s cheeses, other spicy sausages such as merguez, or preserved lemon or olives. Delicious with crusty white toast. Serves 4-6.
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp harissa paste
- 2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 2 large red peppers, diced
- Diced chorizo as desired
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- 4 medium to large free-range eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of roughly chopped coriander leaves
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add red onion and sauté until softened (about 10 minutes).
Add the harissa, tomato puree, peppers, garlic, cumin and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook over a moderate heat until peppers are softened (about 8 minutes). Add the tomatoes, spinach and chorizo and simmer for a further 10 minutes until you have a thick sauce. Season to taste.
Make four wells in the sauce. Gently break an egg into each. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites with some sauce, but try not to break the yolks.
Simmer gently, covered for 8-10 minutes until the whites are set but yolks still runny.
Remove from heat and serve on individual plates with toast and some labneh or yoghurt if desired.