Eggs Poached in a Spicy Tomato Sauce (Shakshouka)

Andy Anderson !


I’ve been eating variations of this dish, ever since it was introduced to me on a trip to Israel, several years ago. The ingredients are simple, and allow for endless variations. For example, I’m adding some pork sausage to make it a one-dish breakfast eye opener.

In addition, it’s usually cooked it up in a nice big skillet, but I’m going to give it a go in individual ramekins, and bake/poach them in the oven.

I serve this dish several times during the holiday season; it’s one of the dishes that gets requested by my overnight guests.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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30 Min
10 Min


4 oz
pork sausage
1/2 medium
yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove
garlic, minced
1 Tbsp
tomato paste
1 Tbsp
sriracha chile sauce
4 medium
plum tomatoes, or 1-14ounce can of whole peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
3 oz
roasted peppers, such as cento, chopped
1 tsp
paprika, sweet variety
1 tsp
ground cumin
2 pinch
cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tsp
fresh honey
salt, kosher variety, to taste
black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
grapeseed oil, for sautéing
2 large
4 oz
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh parsley, for garnish


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1Gather your ingredients.

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2Place a skillet over medium heat.

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3Add the breakfast sausage, and cook until nicely browned.

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4Chef’s Tip: While the sausage is cooking, break it up using a wooden spoon.

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5Drain the sausage on paper towels, and reserve.

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6Wipe out the skillet, and return to stove over medium heat.

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7Add one or two tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pan.

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8Add the onion, and garlic.

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9Sauté until the onions have softened, about 6 to 8 minutes.

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10Chef’s Note: Keep an eye on the pan, and don’t allow the onions or the garlic to brown, or (heaven forbid) burn.

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11After the onions have softened add the tomato paste, and sriracha chili sauce.

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12Stir to combine, and allow the ingredients to cook for 2 minutes.

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13Add the crushed plum tomatoes, the fire-roasted peppers, paprika, cayenne, honey, and cumin.

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14Chef’s Note: I like to crush my tomatoes with my hands… it’s therapeutic

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15Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, and continue to cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.

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16While the dish is cooking, add salt and pepper, to taste.

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17Chef’s Note: This stage is to help the flavors of the ingredients to merge. But make sure that you have the heat under the pan set to a slow simmer. That’s where there is hardly any movement in the pan, and no bubbles are breaking the surface.

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18While the sauce is simmering, grate the cheese, and chop the parsley.

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19Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350f (176c).

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20Create a bain-marie and place in the oven.

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21Chef’s Note: A bain-marie (pronounced "bane mah-REE") is a container filled with hot water that is used during the cooking process. The steam from the water fills the oven and keeps things moist.

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22Coat the inside of each ramekin with oil.

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23Add about 1/2-inch of the simmering sauce to the bottom.

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24Sprinkle breakfast sausage over the top (enough to cover the sauce).

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25Carefully add just enough sauce to cover the sausage

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26Add the grated cheese (enough to cover the sauce).

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27Fill with more sauce, until just below the rim of the ramekin.

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28Chef’s Note: By layering the sauce and the sausage and the cheese, you’re creating layers of flavor.

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29Use a spoon to make an indentation in the middle of the sauce.

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30Break an egg into a small bowl.

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31Carefully pour it into the indentation.

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32Cook in the bain-marie, in the oven.
14 minutes for a runny egg
18 minutes for a harder yolk

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33Garnish with parsley, and serve straight from the oven with some toasted bread or tortillas. Enjoy.

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34Chef’s Tip: You can make the sauce and cook the sausage a day ahead, and then refrigerate them. The next morning, reheat the sauce; prep the oven, and you’re ready for breakfast with your family and guests.

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35Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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