Shakshuka eggs

shakshuka sqAs January rolls around there’s a general feeling of a) needing to save some money and b) tidy up eating habits. Rather than commit to some sort of fad diet, make a resolution to get in the kitchen and try cooking a new healthy recipe at least once a week.

One of my favourite superfast (and cheap) meals is Shakshuka – a one pan dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce which originates from the Middle East.

These eggs make a brilliant brunch, lunch or super fast evening meal that can be ready in around 15 minutes from start to finish. They’re also a great dish for sharing – just double up the quantities.  The other fabulous thing about this recipe is that it only needs around five ingredients most of which can be found in your cupboard. Essentials are eggs, tinned tomatoes, paprika and some cheese (feta, Parmesan or any slightly tangy cheese would work well) – the peppers are nice to have but you can make a similar version without.

In terms of nutrition, eggs are a great source of filling protein which will help keep you feeling fuller for longer – swap your breakfast of cereal for eggs to negate those mid morning hunger pangs. You’ll also get a nice dose of antioxidants from the cooked tomatoes.

Teamed with some toasted sourdough bread to mop up the sauce this is truly delicious!

Ingredients – serves 2 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot or onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 4 jarred roasted red peppers (drained), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp / good squeeze tomato paste
  • pinch sugar (brings out the flavour of the tomatoes)
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked  paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • feta cheese
  • fresh parsley or coriander to serve

How to

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and add the onion and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden.
  2. Add the peppers and let them sizzle, then tip in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika and a pinch of sugar.  Stir and bring to a simmer then allow the  sauce to bubble away and thicken for around 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make four wells in the tomato sauce with a spoon and carefully crack in the eggs. Cover the pan with a lid or baking sheet and turn down the heat to the lowest setting, allowing the sauce to bubble around the eggs.
  4. Cook for five minutes or so then check the eggs to see if the whites are set – you might have to encourage a little of the sauce onto the sides of the whites to help them along.
  5. Once the whites are set remove from the heat and crumble over the feta.
  6. Scatter with chopped fresh herbs and voila! Serve from the pan – dig in with a spoon or some crusty sourdough or rye bread