By Erika Guzman a recent ASU Nutrition student
Sometimes, there’s food that just inspires you to try something new. For me, it was Netflix’s Somebody Feed Phil. Phil visits different countries, taste the local food and cuisine; it’s my dream job! There was an episode that stuck with me most, though; he visits Israel and eats with his friends, locals, and learns about his ancestors and background.
There was a dish called shakshuka, a dish his friends admitted it’s not originally from Israel, but definitely made it a local staple in the kitchen. It was a large pan filled with beautiful tomatoes and sauce, herbs, and eggs with the runny yolk drizzled with olive oil as they scoop up the food with freshly baked bread. The chef was asked how he learned the dish, and I don’t want to spoil the story, but it definitely was one of the foods that shaped his life. Overall, it looked absolutely delicious, I wanted to try it myself!
Serves 4 to 6 or 2 very hungry students
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Harissa paste or cayenne pepper; add more if you enjoy spice
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup bell pepper, diced; red or yellow is highly recommended
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A sprig of parsley, chopped
- Optional: feta cheese crumbles or other goat cheeses
- 4 to 6 eggs, depending on the size of pan and crowd
- Warm pita bread or toasted bread (french baguette, ciabatta, potato rolls, or anything nice and hearty)
- In a large skillet, oil, and turn on burner to medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir. Cook until fragrant.
- Add the harissa paste or cayenne pepper and stir until everything is coated. Add bell peppers and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Next, in the same skillet, add both crushed tomatoes and sauce, cumin and paprika, and stir. Lower the heat to low and allow to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes with a lid, stirring occasionally.
- This is the fun part! To add the eggs, it’s easiest to crack in a small bowl or ramekin and add to the dish instead of cracking directly into the pan; it avoids any shell mishaps!
- Make small divots in the sauce to cradle your egg. Usually, 4 to 6 eggs could fit in the pan. Make one divot at a time and pour your egg into the hole. Repeat until you have the desired amount of eggs.
- Cover the pan and cook. If you like your egg yolk a little runny, cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, and for a cooked yolk 7 to 10 minutes.
- Optional: Add the goat cheese crumbles into the dish and cover with lid; it will get slightly gooey! Once it’s melted, add the parsley flakes on top.
- Warm or toast your bread, serve, and enjoy!
You can add any type of vegetable you like. If you want it hearty, mushrooms and eggplant go well with this dish. For more meat, stewed beef is an accompaniment to the savory tomato and egg dish.