This week I have something a little different for you!
Yep. Instead of me doing all the talking, err writing, I’m handing over to one of my students from my online cooking classes.
So here’s what James had to say about the Shakshuka recipe (see below for full recipe) from one of my classes.
So this was one of those stone soup recipes where I thought – hmm, spinach, capsicum and pasta sauce. This is going to taste bland and not be filling. I’m not sure if it is the simplicity but stone soup recipes often make me feel like this, and then prove to be otherwise.
This was no exception.
So, I went off to find the ingredients, I was lucky to get long bell peppers, which are sweet in taste. I also chose a puttanesca sauce for instant heat and threw in some chorizo I had left over (not veggie, but yummy).
The end result was amazing!
My other half who is a pasta addict, was amazed at the way the spinach replaced the role of pasta, providing the much needed “bite”. The flavour was great and it was really filling. This (after broccoli and chorizo (with egg rather than mayo) is my new favourite.
For anyone that hasn’t tried this, please do. It is great and so simple.
Shakshuka is a Tunisian dish of baked eggs. I love it because it’s super versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you don’t have access to harissa (a super hot and delicious Tunisian chilli paste) see the variations for alternatives.
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
2 red bell peppers (capsicum), chopped
1 jar tomato pasta sauce (1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon Harissa (optional)
handful labneh or other soft cheese (optional)
1 bag baby spinach
1. Heat a little olive oil on a medium heat in a large fry pan. Add peppers and cook stirring every now and then until they are soft. Between 5-10 minutes.
2. Add tomato sauce and harissa (if using). Bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and more harissa if you prefer it hotter.
3. Break the eggs into the sauce. Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks still runny.
4. Serve eggs and sauce on a bed of baby spinach with cheese scattered over (if using) and lashings of black pepper.
no harissa? – any hot sauce, chilli paste, or finely chopped fresh red chilli can be used, just be careful not to add too much. See more harissa substitute ideas.
carnivore – add chorizo or spicy sausage with the peppers.
not hot – reduce or skip the harissa. Still a really lovely dish.
vegan / egg-free – replace the eggs with a drained can of beans. And replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds or pine nuts.
dairy-free – replace the cheese with a handful of roasted almonds or pine nuts.
short on time – skip the peppers or use pre-roasted peppers.
more substantial / carb lovers– serve with hot buttered sourdough toast, warm flat bread or tortillas.
more veg – soften an onion with the peppers. Other possible additions include mushrooms, sliced zucchini or eggplant.
different cheese – ricotta, goats cheese, goats curd, shaved parmesan.
home made labneh – labneh is a ‘cheese’ made by straining yoghurt to remove some of the moisture. To make your own take natural plain yoghurt and place in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, tea towel, a cloth or other cloth that you’re happy to touch your food. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the liquid ‘whey’ refrigerate until the yoghurt is as thick as you like. I usually leave it 6-8 hours. The whey can be used for smoothies, fed to your pets (except if you have pet fish!) or I just drink it straight. The labneh will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.
ps. I really do want to know if you’ve tried any of my recipes yet?
If YES, what has been your favourite so far?
If NO, what do you think has been holding you back?
Share your answer in the comments below.
And as an added incentive (see I really do want to know!), I’m giving away a FREE copy of my print book, ‘5-Ingredients 10-Minutes‘ to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Happy to ship it anywhere in the world.
Entries close: 24th June 2016.
UPDATE: The winner is Julia! Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment :)