my childhood's shakshuka
Growing up in France, my paternal side of the family was from French North Africa and I grew up enjoying many of the flavourful dishes of the cuisine of the Sephardic Jews. My grandmother spent her time spoiling us with feast after feast of delicious spicy foods. My favourite was her "Choukchouka". Little did I know that this dish would see such a revival and feature in every culinary, foodie, healthy cookbook or blog! So here's my own family recipe for you to enjoy.
2-3 medium courgettes, cubed
2 medium white onions, cubed
2 peppers (preferably 1 red and 1 green for extra rainbow appeal!), chopped
1 aubergine, cubed
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
400g vine cherry tomatoes
500g jar of organic tomato passata
1 can of peeled plum tomatoes
1-2 tablespoon smoked paprika
3-4 tablespoon olive oil
prep time: 20mins
cook time: 80mins
Preheat the oven to 190°C
Add the cherry tomatoes and chopped garlic to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and slide in the oven for 20mins until soft and roasted.
Clean, peel, core or deseed and chop all other vegetables.
In a large casserole dish, add 3 or 4 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the chopped onions and gently fry for about 10 minutes until soft and golden.
Next add the smoked paprika and stir really well.
Add all the chopped vegetables and roasted tomatoes and stir.
Simmer very gently, covered, for at least 30 minutes, until all the vegetables have softened.
After that time, add the tomato passata and tinned plum tomatoes, check the seasoning and cook for a further 15-30 minutes.
If serving shortly, break an egg per person in the big casserole, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes until eggs are cooked to your preferred style.
You can also transfer the vegetables to individual dishes before adding eggs and finish cooking in the oven.
Sprinkle with crushed chillies and enjoy!
the health boost tip
This dish is a winner every day, every week, for brunch, lunch or dinner, shared and enjoyed with family and friends. I recommend making the base in advance, and when needed re-heat gently and add the egg(s).
Growing up we also used to have it cold as a dip with pitta or flat breads! It is delicious served with couscous or quinoa.
This dish is packed full of a rainbow of vegetables, rich in vitamins and dietary fibres. For the younger ones or fussy eaters, you can also put it in a blender and use as a sauce to serve with rice or whole wheat pasta.