Shakshuka is a Tunisian dish of baked eggs. I love it because it’s super versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you don’t have access to harissa (a super hot and delicious Tunisian chilli paste) there’s a recipe to make your own or see the variations for alternatives.
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
2 red bell peppers (capsicum), chopped
1 jar tomato pasta sauce (1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon Harissa (optional)
handful labneh or other soft cheese (optional)
1 bag baby spinach
1. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in a large fry pan. Add peppers and cooks, stirring every now and then until they are soft. Between 5-10 minutes.
2. Add tomato sauce and harissa (if using). Bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and more harissa if you prefer it hotter.
3. Break the eggs into the sauce. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny.
4. Serve eggs and sauce on a bed of baby spinach with cheese scattered over (if using) and lashings of black pepper.
no harissa? – any hot sauce, chilli paste, or finely chopped fresh red chilli can be used, just be careful not to add too much. Harissa is well worth making from time to time. See the recipe here.
carnivore – add bacon, salami, ham, chorizo, proscuitto or spicy sausage with the peppers.
not hot – reduce or skip the harissa. Still a really lovely dish.
vegan / egg-free – replace the eggs with a drained can of beans. And replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds or pine nuts.
dairy-free – replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds, pine nuts or some smashed avocado.
short on time – skip the peppers or use pre-roasted peppers.
more substantial – serve with hot buttered sourdough toast, flat bread or tortillas.
more substantial (low carb) – extra eggs or cheese. Roast almonds.
keto / ultra low carb – use 1/2 cup pasta sauce + replace peppers with zucchini. Replace labneh with mayo.
more veg – soften and onion with the peppers. Other possible additions include mushrooms, sliced zucchini or eggplant.
different cheese – ricotta, goats cheese, goats curd, shaved parmesan.
home made labneh – labneh is a ‘cheese’ made by straining yoghurt to remove some of the moisture. To make your own take natural plain yoghurt and place in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, tea towel, a cloth or other cloth that you’re happy to touch your food. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the liquid ‘whey’ refrigerate until the yoghurt is as thick as you like. I usually leave it 6-8 hours. The whey can be used for smoothies, fed to your pets (except if you have pet fish!) or I just drink it straight. The labneh will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
bell peppers (capsicum) – keep in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer grill and store in an airtight jar under oil. Or freeze them.
tomato pasta / harissa – keep in the pantry.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for a month or so. Or use for another meal.
labneh – will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.
baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.