Shakshuka is an easy North African and Middle Eastern dish whose strong flavors are perfect for pepper lovers. Paired with a chunk of good bread and a leafy green salad, shakshuka makes for a... great brunch or an easy light supper. Better yet, you can make the tomatoey base ahead of time and freeze it. This version is a blend of the Tunisian and Moroccan versions, using red and green peppers to make the dish even more colorful than it already is. If you’d like to add some heat, you can use harissa paste — see the Chef Tips.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples, add the diced onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until the onion is transparent and the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, or until it just starts to caramelize. Add the paprika and ground cumin, and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Lower the flame to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have reduced and become syrupy and the mixture resembles a veggie stew. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if the veggies look dry. Taste for salt. If you’re planning to freeze this, stop here.
With a spoon, make 4 little wells in the veggies and crack an egg into each – if needed, gently make a little extra room with the spoon so that the eggs settle into the stew to cook and the whites aren't spilling out over the top too much. Partially cover and cook until the eggs are set to your taste. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
If you would like to use harissa paste, cut the tomato paste down to 2 tablespoons, and do not add paprika.
To cook: in step 2, add 2 tablespoons of harissa paste to the pan along with the tomato paste and cook as per recipe before adding the cumin. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.