A Mediterranean take on bacon and eggs? No comparison, shakshuka is way better. Leave out the pancetta for a delicious vegetarian brunch.
North African cuisine, much like Vietnamese, has been significantly influenced by the cuisines of occupying cultures over the centuries. Fusion dishes get a bad rap these days in some quarters. But fusion cuisine goes back a long way. The fusion of Middle Eastern and European styles in this dish have clearly endured the test of time. Chowhound has an interesting article on the history of shakshuka.
A comparison with the very kiwi bacon and egg pie may seem a little odd, but to me it is valid. Both are convenience foods with so many different interpretations, and such high expectations
Shakshuka – North African eggs on tomato ragout
- 10 medium sized tomatoes as red as possible
- 2 red peppers
- 2 medium onions diced length wise
- 3 large mild chillies
- 1 head of garlic
- 400 g artichokes one tin
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Parsley chopped finely
- 2 cloves black garlic chopped finely (optional)
- 30 g Pancetta chopped to 5cm squares optional
- 5 eggs
- 4 Baguettes
- Halve and de-seed peppers
- Halve tomatoes
- Place peppers and tomatoes on a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at 180 deg for 40 minutes
- Roast garlic at the same time (method)
- Simmer onions in olive oil until translucent
- Add finely chopped chillies and simmer for 5 minutes more
- Remove skins from tomatoes, chop out and discard the hard white inner core, chop and add flesh and juices to the pan with the onions
- Dice the peppers length ways, then in half (to get 5mm x 50mm pieces). Add to the pan.
- Squeeze garlic cloves from the roasted bulb. Add to the pan.
- Add the cumin and pepper to the pan.
- Simmer until juices evapourate and it becomes a thick sauce.
- Halve or quarter the artichokes and add to the ragout, fold gently in.
- Make depressions in the ragout and break an egg into each one. (you should break into a bowl first, and remove shell and excess white if necessary)
- Put the eggs into the dressings, cover, and cook until the whites are white but the yolks still runny.
- Serve with a salad, and some sliced baguettes drizzled with olive oil and parsley and baked a little until just starting to get crispy.