- Tina Wasserman - https://cookingandmore.com -

Shakshuka

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced- about ½ pound
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini or red bell pepper, finely diced (about 1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
1 15 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Kosher salt to taste
15 grindings of black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more according to taste
1 teaspoon honey, or more if you like it sweeter
2-4 tablespoons water, if needed

4 eggs
1. Heat a 3 quart saucepan for 15 seconds. Add oil and heat for 10 seconds. Add the diced onions and sauté over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until soft and just starting to get golden.

2. Add the garlic and the zucchini (or red peppers) to the saucepan and cover for 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant and the zucchini begins to soften slightly.

3. Add the spices and stir for one minute to coat the vegetables well.

4. Add the canned diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste and the remaining seasonings and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20minutes adding some water if mixture looks too dry. Mixture should look like pasta sauce. Can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to cook the eggs.

5. Remove the bay leaf, adjust seasonings and place the tomato mixture in a 10 inch frying pan (cast iron preferred).

6. Heat pan until contents are warm. With the back of a soupspoon make three-four indentations in the tomato mixture.

7. Carefully crack an egg into each indentation, cover and cook over very low heat for 10-15 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolk is still runny.

8. Alternatively, spoon mixture equally into 4 four inch ramekins, make a well in the center, crack an egg into the each well, microwave the ramekin for 1 ½- 2 ½ minutes until white is done and yolk is still soft. Note: white will appear less opaque and runny but actually be firm so check often as each microwave is different and tastes differ as well. In Israel, the egg is served runny.

9. Serve one or two eggs per person with some of the sauce and some country bread or thickly sliced challah.