Quick & Easy Shakshuka
My husband has a friend who is famous for her shakshuka. In fact, the first time I met Yael, Tal said to me, “will you watch her in the kitchen and learn how to make her shakshuka?” The pressure was on. I had been tasked with learning to prepare one of Israel’s most famous dishes. I expected Yael’s recipe to be a closely guarded secret, passed down for generations. Would she teach me how to make it? What if she wouldn’t even let me into the kitchen? “She’ll be happy to cook with you,” Tal assured me. I was certain we’d spend hours in the kitchen. I brought a pad of paper, ready to take copious notes. As a chef and wife, I didn’t want to disappoint.
Yael and I stood next to the stove, as she pulled out three jars of spices. “Good quality harissa, sweet paprika and a dash of ground red pepper is key,” explained Yael. She then did something that completely shocked me. She opened a jar of store-bought pasta sauce, poured it into the pan and added the spices. She must’ve seen the look on my face. “Trust me,” said Yael. “I’ve tried it all. This marinara makes the best shakshuka.” She was right.
Yael’s recipe is beyond simple and truly makes the best I’ve ever tasted. She doesn’t add basil, but I like to add a bit to my shakshuka.
1 jar (24 ounces) Rao’s marinara
1 tablespoon Harissa
½ tablespoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground spicy red pepper
4 large eggs
1 bunch fresh basil, optional
1 loaf of bread
In a wide frying sauté pan mix the sauce and spices. Place on the stove and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Give the sauce a stir and reduce the heat to low. If the sauce is bubbling too much the eggs won’t stay in place and cook nicely. Create 4 small wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Carefully crack an egg into each. Cover and simmer on low. For runny yolks cook the eggs 5 minutes. For firm yolks cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately with plenty of bread to soak up the sauce.
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