Italian Shakshuka is one of our favourite brunch dishes that can easily stand in for a quick healthy meatless lunch or dinner and is made in under 30 minutes. Fun to share and filled with flavour, it’s one to add to your weekend recipe rotation!
The first time that my husband Charles cooked Shakshuka for me I thought he had lost his mind. We were having my foodie friend Marnie over for dinner and Charles was in charge of making the meal (he’s an incredible cook for the record). And he made eggs. For dinner. Huh? Fast forward six years and I’m having to eat my words, Shakshuka is a THING!
Shakshuka (also spelled Shakshouka) is a dish that apparently originated in Africa (the origin is disputed), but is commonly served in many Mediterranean regions as a breakfast. It is made by creating a tomato based sauce in a pan (usually cast iron) and poaching the eggs directly in the sauce before serving the rustic dish with bread or pita.
This particular recipe was originally created for our cookbook, but we had SO many recipes that we ended up leaving this one (along with a handful of others) out. When we created this recipe we wanted to give a nod to Jillian’s fiance Justin’s Italian heritage with this basil-infused version that leverages canned fire-roasted tomatoes to give it piles of flavour with minimal work. That’s a taste:effort ratio that I can get behind when it comes to entertaining!
Note, you will need to have a lid on hand that fits your pan for cooking the eggs for this recipe. If you want to make it gluten free simply substitute gluten free bread to dip in the eggs. You can find fire roasted tomatoes in the same aisle at the grocery store where canned tomatoes are found – they are a game changer!
If you’re looking for other brunch recipes check out these savoury Cheddar Chive Waffles (vegan option), our famous Angel Cakes for the best pancakes EVER or these Breakfast Frittata Wraps for a quick and easy weekday option that you can make ahead!
This Italian Shakshuka is infused with heaps of zesty ingredients and gets a flavour kick from fire roasted canned tomatoes. It can be served for any meal of the day and is insanely delicious with slices of toasted bread brushed with olive oil!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1-398 ml can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups jarred good-quality tomato basil pasta sauce
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 free-range eggs
- 3-4 whole fresh basil leaves for garnish
- toasted or grilled baguette cut length ways
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic cut in half length ways
- In a medium (10-12”) heavy-bottomed frying pan (like a Staub cast iron pan) heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté until it is transparent, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes along with the tomato sauce, turn the heat to low, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened but is still a bit loose, about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and make 6 small indents evenly spaced in the pan with the back of a large spoon in the sauce (it may not keep its shape perfectly, but this is where the eggs will be placed).
- Carefully crack the eggs into the respective ‘holes’, cover the pan with a lid and cook until the eggs are cooked to your liking, about 7-10 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, toast or grill the baguette on the cut side, brush the cut side lightly with olive oil and lightly rub the cut side of the garlic clove along the length of the toasted baguette (this is optional but gives it such a yummy flavour!).
- Garnish the eggs with the fresh basil leaves and serve immediately with the toasted baguette.
Photography credit: Janis Nicolay