by Anna Lucca
Hello everyone, and welcome back! The generous summer gives us the tastiest and most colorful vegetables: tomatoes and peppers, a real hymn to the summer! The recipe that I would like to offer you this time is somewhat reminiscent of the Tunisian version of “eggs and tomato” that my grandmother used to prepare, a simple and quick dish that spices and peppers make it truly irresistible.
Great for a quick dinner.
The one I will show you is the simpler version. Still, as in many dishes, there are variations (you can add a couple of courgettes cut into rounds and a diced eggplant to the peppers, add three boiled potatoes cut into chunks, or instead of cumin, you can use dried mint). Two words, two, on the origin of the dish’s name, Shakshuka derives from the Berber and means ‘mixture’, a term that perfectly describes the number of ingredients used to make this tasty dish.
No more chatter, and here is the list of ingredients for 4 people:
• 8 eggs at room temperature (remember to take them out of the fridge a couple of hours before)
• 2 teaspoons of harissa (hot sauce readily available at the supermarket, ethnic products department)
• 2 tablespoons of concentrated tomato
• 2 medium onions
• 2 peppers
• 800 gr (medium) ripe tomatoes (or alternatively a can of peeled tomatoes)
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 1 tablespoon of cumin powder (or sweet paprika alternatively)
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Preparation: Clean the peppers by removing seeds and white ribs, cut them into strips, slice the onions, chop the garlic, and cut the tomatoes into cubes.
Use a large skillet, and fry the onions in the oil until they become translucent, then add the two teaspoons of harissa, the concentrated tomato, the cloves of garlic, the spoonful of cumin powder (or paprika), the salt. And peppers cut into strips (more or less thin according to taste; personally, I prefer them crunchy, and I cut them more often). Cook over high heat for about 8 minutes. The vegetables must be well stewed.
At this point, add the tomato and continue cooking, always over high heat, for about ten to fifteen minutes. When the sauce has shrunk a little, with a spoon, create hollows in the mixture where you will lodge the eggs (be careful not to break the yolks), lower the heat (the eggs must cook slowly), and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until the egg whites have thickened well, but the yolks must remain soft. In some versions, the eggs are not left whole but mixed together with vegetables making the mixture creamy.
The cooking phase continues – which we must always check …
Bon appetit, and the next recipe.