Recipe for shakshuka

Photos by Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Serves 4

The North African dish shakshuka made its way to southern Europe and the Middle East (it’s especially popular in Israel). It is essentially a highly seasoned tomato sauce in which you cook eggs. After simmering the sauce, make depressions with the back of a spoon, then poach the eggs right in the mixture. When you serve it, the yolks should be runny and spill into the sauce. Some shakshuka recipes use lots of onions and hot and sweet peppers. This version is simpler; it cooks in 10 minutes with several spices. For heat, add crushed red peppers or something with more intriguing heat, such as maras or Aleppo peppers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, halved
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or maras or Aleppo peppers
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled
tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
½ cup water
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 eggs, each cracked into a
separate cup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

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1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil with the garlic. When it is hot, add the red pepper, paprika, allspice, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Tip in the tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture stops spluttering. Add the water, salt, and black pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. With tongs, remove the garlic from the pan.

3. Using the rounded side of a large spoon, make 4 indentations in the sauce. Tip an egg into each one. Sprinkle the egg lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Cover the skillet and cook the eggs for 6 to 8 minutes or until the whites are opaque and just firm (the yolks should still be runny).

5. Spoon sauce and an egg onto each of 4 shallow bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.  Sheryl Julian

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