Eggs in Purgatory-Shakshuka

If you’re looking for a something a little different that is easy to make and tasty to boot, you should try this dish.  So tasty that most of the Mediterranean countries and half the Middle East lay claim to its invention.  More than you can say for the hamburger!

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Shakshuka is a medley of vegetables (depends on your location), sauteed together, add a spiced tomato sauce to the veggies for a few minutes.  Make some open spaces in the sauce and  crack a few eggs into the spots.  Either “poach” the eggs on the stove or in the oven.  Even the toppings vary from lemon zest, to fresh herbs and cheese.  The point is…its darn tasty and fast.  Serve it with a nice crusty bread for mopping up the sauce and life is good.

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My version is pretty standard,  red onion and garlic, summer squash and Italian sweet peppers sauteed with a bit of wine till soft.  Add my homemade tomato sauce, but any good quality tomato sauce will work.  After  a quick simmer, add your eggs.  With the heat on low, you can finish them on the stove in less than 10 minutes (too hot for the oven this time of year).  Add your favorite topping and you have a light dinner in less than 30 minutes.  My husband had two helpings.

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Serves 3-4

You’ll need:

Olive oil, as needed

One medium red onion, chopped

2-3 medium cubanelle peppers (any good sweet pepper will work), chopped

1 medium summer squash with seeds removed and sliced into half moons

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup red wine

1 pint good quality seasoned tomato sauce

6 eggs

Toppings:

fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, chives or parsley, chopped (optional)

feta or other crumbled cheese (optional)

lemon zest (optional)

In a large skillet, saute onion, peppers and squash in olive oil until soft.  Add salt, pepper and red wine.  Cook until liquid is almost gone.  Add tomato sauce and heat until bubbling.  Stir well and make indentations in the thickened sauce for the eggs.  Crack eggs and carefully add them to their wells.  Cover pan and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook until eggs are set and whites are firm.  Remove from heat.  Spoon servings onto plates (keep each egg whole if you can).  Sprinkle with toppings of choice and serve with bread.  Enjoy!

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