According to Ottolenghi, traditional Shakshuka uses potatoes in the winter, and aubergine in the summer. There are no rules to shakshuka – as long as you have the traditional eggs in a spicy tomato-based sauce, I think anything else you want to add is fair game. I’ve made it with feta and chickpeas, plain, with mushrooms and aubergine… I’ve become fairly obsessed with this dish since travelling in Israel not too long ago. Shakshuka is originally a Tunisian dish, but the Israeli’s have adopted it as their own, and you can find it just about any time of day in many of the restaurants. I’m on a quest to make the perfect version at home, and this comes the closest so far, thanks to the addition of the harissa, which elevated it to a new a level.

Shakshuka with Potato and Spinach
Serves 2
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  1. 2-3 roasted red peppers (I used jarred), diced
  2. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 tsp cumin
  4. 1 tsp sea salt
  5. 2 tbsp harissa
  6. 2 tsp tomato paste
  7. 2 cartons diced tomatoes
  8. 3 medium-small potatoes
  9. 100g baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  10. 4 eggs
  11. feta cheese (optional)
  1. Prick the potatoes with a fork and place on a microwave safe dish. Cover with paper towel and cook on high for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. Gently slide off the skins and dice.
  2. In a saucepan, heat about a tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the peppers, potatoes, garlic, harissa, cumin and tomato paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine, and simmer with the lid off for 8 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in the spinach leaves, and gently cook until wilted (about 2 minutes).
  5. Transfer the sauce to 2 small oven-safe skillets (or one large one). Make indentations in the sauce for the eggs. Gently crack the eggs into the indentations. Using a spoon, carefully spread the white around a little into the sauce, taking care not to break the yolk. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes. When the egg whites start to turn white, stick the skillet(s) under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the eggs are just set, but not overcooked. You want the yolk to be runny but the whites to be cooked.
  6. Sprinkle with feta cheese (optional) and serve with either crusty bread or homemade pita.
The Pescetonian
This dish goes fantastically with homemade pita bread.