Originally Tunisian, Shakshouka is eaten everywhere from north Africa to Spain to the Middle East, and is staple of the Israeli diet. Shakshouka is a dish of eggs that are poached in tomato sauce, and spiced with garlic and chilies. Basically, it's made with a bunch of ingredients that you already have in your fridge or pantry, and they're all thrown together in one pan.
Roasty and tart, this stew makes a great belly-warming dinner on a cold winter night. And since it's packed with protein, Shakshouka makes for a perfect morning-after-Meat-Club hangover breakfast, assuming you celebrate a successful sausage venture with whiskey like we do.
• 2 to 4 links Merguez sausage
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp. chili flakes or harissa
• 2 cans (16 oz.) crushed tomatoes or 8 chopped roma tomatoes
• 4 eggs
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
• Loaf of crusty bread
Use 2 links of Merguez sausage if they were stuffed using hog casing, or 4 links if they were stuffed using sheep casing. If using hog casing, slice the Merguez in half lengthwise.
You can cook this up in a large frying pan, but a large cast iron skillet or other thick-bottomed pan will produce better results.
Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Throw the Merguez in the pan, cook on both sides until browned and crisp, and set aside.
In the same pan, add the olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes or harissa. Once the garlic starts to turn golden, stir in the tomatoes. Turn the heat down to medium, cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The key to a deep and rich sauce is letting it cook down long enough.
The shakshouka should've thickened up a bit by now. Take a spoon and make four little wells, and crack an egg into each. Add the sausage back in, setting it on top, wherever there's room. Cook for 5 more minutes.
With a large serving spoon, scoop the sauce, egg and sausage into pasta bowls. Now sprinkle some paprika, fresh cracked black pepper and chopped cilantro on top, and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread.
Remember, this dish is a cultural mashup - try adding white beans, potatoes, bell peppers or artichoke hearts. For toppings, try toasted almonds, yogurt or sour cream, or a splash of sherry vinegar. If you want it soupier, add a cup of chicken stock. If you want it thicker, add a half a can of tomato paste. The eggs can be baked in, like this recipe, or you can serve on top, hard-boiled or poached.