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Shakshuka (Eggs in Purgatory)

Shakshuka (Eggs in Purgatory)

I've been on a shakshuka kick lately!  Over the past couple of weeks I've made it for breakfast, for lunch and even a late evening meal.  I love the smell of it as it's cooking, it's super easy to throw together and it's both delicious and satisfying.  Shakshuka is a dish where eggs are basically poached in a thick, rich, spice filled tomato sauce.  It's also known as eggs in purgatory which apparently came from the idea that the eggs, (pure souls), are to be saved from the fiery tomato sauce, (purgatory.)  

There is some disagreement on where shakshuka originated from, but it boasts bold, beautiful Mediterranean flavors.  While most traditional shakshukas are garnished with feta cheese, I had run out of feta one of the times I cooked it and put in some spoonfuls of ricotta instead.  I was blown away by the puddles of creaminess the ricotta added and have added it ever since.  However, if you like the salty, tangy taste of the feta, feel free to use that instead, or why not have the best of both worlds and use both!  If you want to add meat to make this a little more robust for dinner, chopped Spanish chorizo is a lovely addition.  Just throw some in when you cook down the onions!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 28oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4-6 eggs
  • ricotta cheese, (can use goat cheese or feta)
  • parsley

Instructions:
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  
  2. Add in the chopped red onion and let cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent.  
  3. Add in the roasted red peppers, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander and chili powder, and let it cook for a minute or two.  
  4. Add in the red wine vinegar to help deglaze the bottom of the pan.  
  5. Add in the fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, sriracha, salt, pepper and sugar.  
  6. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes.  
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and use a spoon to make little wells in the tomato sauce.  
  8. Gently crack an egg in to each well, (I use as many eggs as we want to eat.)  
  9. Add some small spoonful's of ricotta cheese in the spaces between the eggs, cover the pan with a lid and return to medium heat.  
  10. Allow the eggs to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the whites are cooked and the yolks are still a little jiggly.  (Remember, they will continue to cook in the sauce after removing from heat.)
  11. Remove the pan from the heat, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or naan.  

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