This Tunisian dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Typically served family style, you can also make individual portions which look beautiful on the table. The spicy tomato sauce can be made well in advance so you can simply heat, drop in your eggs, toast some bread and you’re ready to serve. For those who are vegan or vegetarian, you can skip the egg and add some delicious roasted vegetables.

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 5-6 eggs

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 5 lbs of your favorite tomatoes (we used a mix of heirloom and cherry tomatoes), roughly chopped (you can leave cherry tomatoes whole)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 hot pepper - jalapeño, habanero, etc (the more seeds you leave in, the spicier the dish)

  • 1 cup of your favorite mushrooms, diced

  • 1 large roasted red pepper (buy in a jar or roast a fresh pepper in broiler or on grill, remove charred skin, devein and chop into bite-size pieces)

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp za’atar (an Israeli thyme, sumac and sesame seed blend available at specialty stores and online)

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven on medium-low heat and add olive oil

  2. Add onions to pan and sauté until they become translucent

  3. Stir in salt, pepper and other spices with onions and cook until spices are fragrant (about 1 minute)

  4. Add garlic, let cook for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn

  5. Add mushrooms and hot pepper - sauté for another minute or so

  6. Add tomatoes to pan and cook on medium-low for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes have broken down and sauce has thickened a little (sauce may seem watery but it will set up once you take it off the stove for a few minutes)

  7. Add more salt and pepper if needed

  8. At this point, you could let the sauce cool and put it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it. But if you want to make your Shakshuka right away, crack the eggs right into the heated sauce in the pan, spacing them apart from each other

  9. Cover the pan with a lid and let eggs poach on low heat for about 8 minutes, occasionally basting the whites with the sauce. The eggs are done when the whites are opaque

  10. Adjust seasoning if needed

  11. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and serve family style with crusty bread

NOTE: You can also make individual Shakshuka servings using small ramekins as pictured below. It’s a slightly different process. Spoon some of the heated sauce into the ramekins and crack 1 egg into each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the eggs have set up to your liking.

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