Then my friend Tzippy took me to Shvil Izzim restaurant. We shared (among other things) the best shakshuka I've ever had. Sweet bell peppers in a flavorful sauce with fresh tomatoes and not too much spice. And the eggs! Not the baked-to-death eggs I'd experienced in my previous shakshouka history. Delicate, gently poached, with rich, runny yolks! And, of course, fresh bread to soak up all that rich tomato-y goodness. (See my post on Shvil Izzim and my photo restaurant review on Facebook.)
piles of brightly colored, inexpensive peppers on sale, I immediately had an itch to recreate this traditional dish. Shakshuka is the perfect nonrecipe meal. You make it how you like it. I didn't use a recipe and I didn't have an Israeli (or Algerian or Tunisian) grandma to teach me how to make it. But whatever I did, it was yummy AND EASY!
First, a confession: I didn't use fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are in season and so delicious. No matter how many I buy they get gobbled up! So, I didn't have any left by dinner time. You can definitely use fresh tomatoes, but starting with a base of pre-cooked tomato sauce is also a valid short cut.
- 3-4 orange bell peppers
- 1-2 green peppers
- 2 onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 finely chopped chili pepper (no seeds)
- 1-2 small packages of tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- tomato paste (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- mushrooms (optional)
- 5-6 eggs
- more chili pepper, cumin, coriander...
- I also put fresh chopped basil in near the end with more on top
- Chop and gently fry all fresh vegetables.
- Season to taste and add any pre-cooked tomato products.
- Simmer until sauce is to your liking.
- GENTLY drop raw eggs into the hot sauce and cover.
- Cook for a few minutes, just until the top of the eggs turns almost opaque white.