Shakshuka is an easy North African and Middle Eastern dish whose strong flavors are perfect for pepper lovers. Paired with a chunk of good bread and a leafy green salad, shakshuka makes a great... brunch or an easy light supper. Better yet, you can make the tomatoey base ahead of time and freeze it. This version is a blend of the Tunisian and Moroccan versions, using red and green peppers to make the dish even more colorful than it already is. Also, instead of using paprika, you can add spicy harissa paste if you prefer using the adjustments listed in Chef Tips.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples, add the diced onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until the onion is transparent and the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes or until it just starts to caramelize. Add the paprika and the ground cumin, and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Lower the flame to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced and become syrupy, and the mixture resembles a veggie stew. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if the veggies look dry. Taste for salt. If you’re planning to freeze this, stop here.
With a spoon, make 4 little wells in the veggies and crack an egg into each – if needed, gently make a little extra room with the spoon so that the eggs settle into the stew to cook without the whites spilling over the top too much. Partially cover and cook until the eggs are set to your taste. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve immediately.
If you’re using harissa paste, cut the tomato paste to 2 tablespoons, and cut out the paprika.
To cook: in step 2 add 2 tablespoons of harissa paste to the pan along with the tomato paste and cook as per recipe before adding the cumin. Everything else is as per recipe.