We are extremely lucky, living in Cambridge, to be surrounded by amazing museums full of fascinating and educational displays. Kipper and I had a fun outing to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, which is one of her favourites. In fact, when I asked her what she wanted to do, she jumped up and down shouting about “THE DINOSAUR MUSEUM! THE DINOSAUR MUSEUM!”
So at breakfast, I joked to DH that after our museum-inspired dinner following the Folk Museum trip, I’d have to come up with something fossil-y, or dinosaur-y. “What about eggs?” he suggested. “Loads of the animals in that museum hatched out of eggs.”
Fair point. Although I’m not sure I’d fancy iguanodon eggs for dinner. Or ichthyosaur eggs. Yuck.
Luckily, we had some chicken eggs. What a relief. I was going to make a frittata, but it was cold and damp out, and Shakshuka – a slightly spicy and gently warming dish of peppers and tomatoes with eggs was altogether more appealing.
I first had this when I was working in Israel around 15 years ago. My workplace had a canteen staffed by a couple of brilliant Moroccan women who made fantastic food for our lunch every day. Shakshuka was a favourite. I remember once watching in horror as one of them poured oil into a pot of bubbling tomato sauce. However, I know recognise the wisdom – FAT MAKES THINGS TASTE GOOD! Plus, it might not be as bad for you as you think. I have used a generous hand with the olive oil in this recipe and although you could use less, I urge you to do the same.
Shakshuka is typically served with bread and a chopped salad. Also good with rice or small pasta to soak up the lovely sauce. This amount serves 3.
- 5-6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 500g mixed peppers (or thereabouts)
- 0.5 tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tsp za'atar or dried thyme
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 200ml hot vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 eggs
- Peel and coarsely chop the onions. De-seed the peppers and cut into 2cm squares.
- Heat the oil in a large shallow pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the peppers and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is nice and soft. Add the paprika and za'atar and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and tomato puree and mix well. Simmer, partly covered, for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is well cooked and thickened.
- Make 3 indentations in the sauce and break an egg into each one. Cover the pan and reduce the heat.
- Cook for around 10 minutes until the eggs are just set.