The first time I had Shakshuka, I took a chance and ordered it at the most adorable spot in Nottinghill, London—Farm Girl Café. This was about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been trying to recreate and perfect the recipe ever since!
Shakshuka is loosely defined as a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. The beauty of this dish is that you can be as simple as you want, or elaborate and creative as you want. You can eat it as a vegetarian dish, or if you’re a meat eater, like me, you can add panchetta. You can experiment with flavors endlessly with this dish, and I think that’s why I have grown to love it so much.
what ya need:
2 pieces of toast (per person)
1-2 tablespoons of butter
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 of a small red onion
2 bell peppers
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of dry, red wine
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
small cast-iron skillet
how to do it:
Chop your onions and peppers to the size of your choice. I have the size I use below, which is probably about a medium-sized dice. You’ll need about a half a cup of each, but it really is up to how much or little you want.
2. Place your cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stove. Plop in about a tablespoon to two tablespoons of butter—wait until the butter becomes fragrant and foamy.
3. Once the butter looks almost fluffy, drop in the minced garlic clove. If you have a garlic press, it can make this step super easy instead of finely mincing your garlic by hand.
4. Sprinkle your chopped red onions and bell peppers (if you want to add panchetta or bacon, this is the perfect opportunity to add it to your dish—you’d chop it, raw, just like you would with your other vegetables).
5. Once your onions and peppers become tender and bit transparent, put about a tablespoon of tomato paste in the middle of the sauce pot. You kind of want it to just sit there while it fries a bit.
6. You can now mix everything around in the skillet so the tomato paste’s flavors can evenly distribute through the vegetables.
7. Pour in the 2 tablespoons of red wine and crank up the heat! You want the alcohol of the wine to “cook out,” and the mixture to thicken.
8. Pour the can of tomatoes into the sauce pot (pictured: I used a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, but you only need half, so I recommend just buying a smaller can unless you plan on doubling the recipe).
9. When it starts to bubble along the edges of the skillet, this is a good sign! This means that it is reducing and thickening. Keep an eye on it though, if the bottom is sticking and/or burning, you want to lower the heat immediately.
10. As soon as the sauce has thickened, you can go ahead and reduce the heat to medium-low.
11. With your spoon, burrow two little wells into the stew so the eggs have a rightful spot to nestle. Crack your eggs into the those little trenches!
12. Cover the skillet with a tight lid, or tightly wrap with aluminum foil, and let the eggs cook to your preferred level of doneness (about 10-15 minutes).
13. While your lovely little eggs are baking in the shakshuka, you can use this time clean up and toast your bread. I rarely buy pre-cut bread, I’d much rather buy it from a local grocery store’s bakery. For this recipe, any bread will do, but I usually use a ciabatta, Italian or sour dough.
There you have it! Scoop up your stew with that toasty piece of bread and let your tastebuds do the rest.