Shakshuka

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Shakshuka, aka the perfect brunch recipe, the best hangover cure, the ultimate sharing dish, umami, rich, mouth-watering joy.

I first tasted this wonderful dish of Jewish origin in Tel Aviv, and from then on, I had one every day for the rest of the trip. Indeed, one of the many beautiful things about Tel Aviv is that, even when you’re on your way home in the early hours after a night out, you will find a breakfast place open and happy to serve you any kind of shakshuka your heart desires. (My personal favourite being merguez shakshuka).

I made a plain one today, but feel free to add minced lamb, merguez, even chorizo or any type of different vegetable – it’s all good.

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You will need:

2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped

1 chilli (optional), finely chopped

1 large sweet red pepper, or 5 small ones, cut into small dice

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed

1/4 tsp Cumin

1-2 tbsp Paprika

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tins chopped tomatoes (800g)

4 eggs

Parsley (or mint), chopped

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Start by sweating down the chopped shallots until soft. Season with salt to help soften. Add the chilli and sweat a few minutes before adding the sweet pepper. Sweat down a few minutes and add the garlic when the pepper starts to soften.

Add the spices and mix well.

Lower the heat, add the tomato paste and cook out. Once mixed through and fragrant, add the tinned tomatoes. Fill half a tin up with water and add that too.

Season and reduce the sauce until it has a rather thick consistency and you’re happy with the taste. You might need to add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are too acidic.

Once you’re happy with the sauce, make 4 small wells inside and crack one egg in each. Season the eggs and cover the pan for about 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. I like a runny yolk, so if you do too, occasionally check – it might need less time.

Finish with a sprinkle of parsley (or mint) and serve with a lovely (gluten-free) baguette to soak up all the heavenly sauce!

Enjoy!