Shakshuka: Impress Your Friends and Family With a Deceivingly Simple Recipe
The North African dish is full of complex flavors, and preparing it is a breeze.
I was suitably impressed with Baba’s shakshuka, enough so that I tried preparing the dish myself. Well, “myself”—in all fairness, this recipe is a modified version of one published in Cook’s Illustrated. Myself-ish if you like.
It’s not a difficult recipe, and the hour-long process is mostly spent intermittently stirring the simmering sauce. The final product is a vivid-looking mixture—which is what “shakshuka” means in Arabic—with bold, spicy flavors.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 yellow peppers, stemmed and seeded, cut into small cubes
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups jarred piquillo peppers, coarsely chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
¼ cup water
½ cup water
2 Turkish bay leaves
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup crumbled feta
Heat oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until they start to brown. About 10 minutes.
Add garlic, tomato paste, cumin, turmeric, a pinch of salt and pepper, and cayenne. Stir frequently until the paste darkens—about 3 minutes.
Stir in piquillo peppers, tomatoes and their juice, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until sauce thickens—about 15 minutes.
Off heat, discard bay leaves, and stir in half the cilantro.
Transfer 2 cups sauce to a blender, process until smooth, and return to skillet. Stir, and bring sauce to simmer over medium-low.
Off heat, make 4 indentations (2-inch wide) in sauce, and crack 2 eggs into each hole. Season eggs with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook over medium-low until egg whites just set—about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle with feta and remaining cilantro, and serve.
The leftovers make for a good pasta sauce, particularly over some al dente cavatappi.
Shakshouka. (2023, January 27). In Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakshouka
I was not able to find Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe online, but if you search for “shakshuka” in their app, it’ll pop up.