Shashuka: soft-cooked eggs in a vibrant tomato sauce

This one-skillet recipe of eggs baked in a delicious, spiced tomato sauce can be eaten as breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You make a simple tomato sauce that takes about 5 minutes to put together and then gently cooks down in about 20 minutes. Once the sauce is done, crack in the eggs and transfer the pan to the oven - and allow everything to finish there. I deviated from the original in that I left the pan on the stove, since I don’t have a skillet I can put into the oven, and cooked the eggs covered to ensure they stayed soft. Take the pan straight to the table and enjoy hot with some toasted, buttered bread - or a toasted tortilla with cheese, as I did.

2 tablespoons butter (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 medium onion, thickly sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 - 2 dried red chillies or 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (400 gm) can whole plum tomatoes, squashed or roughly chopped
4 organic eggs
2 - 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to serve

Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet. Once it's melted, add the onions and stir. Add the garlic after a minute, along with the chillies or chilli flakes and the cumin, Stir to combine and add the crushed or chopped tomatoes after 30 seconds. Bring the tomatoes to a simmer and then turn down the heat. Add salt to taste and cook on a gentle simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce thickens. Adjust the salt, if necessary.

Make four slight indentations in the sauce and gently crack the eggs in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and cook on a low flame for about 3 - 4 minutes, until eggs have just set. Sprinkle the coriander over the eggs, cover and turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to sit for 30 seconds and then transfer to the table. Serve with hot sauce and some warm bread or a tortilla.

Serves two as a main or four as a side. Prep time: 10 minutes, cooking time: about 25 minutes


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