Recipe: Shakshuka with yoghurt and feta

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At the brunch in December I introduced my friends to shakshuka, which they all loved. It’s such a great brunch dish if there is several of you as you can make the tomato sauce ahead and then cooked the eggs in the oven. If I make a smaller portion for lunch or dinner I cook it in a frying pan on the hob and cover the pan with a lid, as it’s quicker than heating up the oven.

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My version of shakshuka has the usual base of peppers, onions and tomatoes as well as tinned tomatoes to make it saucy. After baking the eggs in the oven I add the toppings; Greek yoghurt, crumbled feta and chilli flakes. If I made this just for myself I would have added some Tabasco as well, but here I left it on the side so everyone could help themselves if they wanted more of a kick.

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Bacon isn’t really necessary with this egg dish, but it works so well at brunch (and with the mushroom omelette) I thought it was a nice addition.

Scandelight’s shakshuka, serves 4-6

1 shallots, chopped

1 small garlic clove, chopped

2 bell peppers (of any colour), chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 large tin (400 g) tinned chopped tomatoes

30 ml water

salt, black pepper

a pinch of sugar

6 medium eggs

200 ml full-fat Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 lemon

chilli flakes

1/2 packet feta 

Pour a little oil in a large frying pan or saucepan. Fry the garlic and onions until golden (not brown). Remove from the pan. Fry the peppers until soft and add the fresh tomatoes. Add the garlic and onions and stir on medium heat until nice and soft. Add the tinned tomatoes and water and stir occasionally. Season to taste with plenty of salt, black pepper and sugar if needed. Let the mixture thicken. 

If using a frying pan, make six “holes” in the mixture and crack an egg in each. Cover with a lid and cook until the whites are set.

If using an oven, transfer the tomato mixture to an oven-proof dish and pre-heat the oven to 180C. Make “holes” in the tomato mixture and crack an egg in each hole. Bake until the whites are set. 

In the meantime, mix yoghurt with salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste and olive oil. 

When the eggs are cooked, remove from the hob or oven and add dollops of yoghurt to the pan/dish. Sprinkle with crumbled feta and chilli flakes. Serve with some nice bread. 

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Eggs in tomato sauce – uovo in purgatorio

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I find it interesting how much our food preferences change with age. As a child I didn’t particularly like eggs, but if I had to eat it I preferred the whites, fried hard or a scrambled version of a fried egg with Swedish hash.

Nowadays, I love eggs. Especially the yolk. I want it very runny, and if I make oeufs en cocotte I don’t mind if the white is runny too.

So it is easy to understand why I fell for this simple Italian dish of eggs kind of half poached, half fried in tomato sauce. I had this for supper with some nice bread to mop up the sauce and it was, in its simple way, utterly delicious.

You can make a bolognese version of this, but with the creamy egg I need nothing more than some vegetables in my tomato sauce.

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Eggs in tomato sauce – uovo in purgatorio, serves 4

150 g chestnut mushrooms, cut in half

1/2 -1 red onion, coarsely chopped

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 batch tomato sauce

2 tbsp red wine (if at hand)

4 eggs

Fry the mushrooms in oil on medium heat in frying pan. Season and remove from pan. Add more oil and fry the onions until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and wine and bring to the boil. Let the mixture thicken if needed. Adjust seasoning and add the mushrooms. Make sure you keep the heat on medium and crack the eggs into the pan. Cook until the whites are set then remove from heat. Serve straight away with some nice bread.