North Americans first came to know this dish as Uova in Purgatorio; an Italian dish. The Spaniards make Huevos en Purgatorio, and recently versions have been popular under the name of Shakshouka; a Tunisian (or Algerian, or Moroccan, or Libyan, or Egyptian) dish that has emigrated to Israel. In Turkey, they make Menemen, which is heavy on the peppers, and the eggs may be scrambled, but is basically this dish. In other words, it is popular all around the Mediterranean. The question of who invented it first (the Italians and Tunisians are going head to head) is no doubt the subject of a great deal of enjoyable bickering, if you happen to enjoy bickering. Personally I will stick to cooking it.Yum.
2 to 4 servings
40 minutes prep time
1 medium onion
1/2 large red or green pepper
a few button mushrooms, optional
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon flaked red chile (Aleppo pepper)
1 teaspoon rubbed oregano
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups tomato sauce
4 to 6 large eggs
Peel and chop the onion. Trim and dice the pepper. Clean and quarter the mushrooms, if using. Peel and mince the garlic.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion, pepper, and mushrooms until soft and fairly reduced in volume, stirring frequently. They should not really brown.
Add the garlic, red chile flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper, and mix; cook for another minute or two then add the tomato sauce and bring the mixture to a simmer. Break in the eggs, keeping each in it's own little spot as much as you can. It helps to break them quite close to the surface.
Cook the eggs until done to your liking; probably 6 to 14 minutes. Yeah, yeah; I know. The thing is though, much will depend on how hot you have them simmering, and whether you like them quite runny as I do, or
When the are ready, serve them on toast, polenta, rice, noodles, hashed potatoes, or even a naked plate, although personally I think they are best on something... polenta or toast for me, depending on whether I am in a soft or crunchy mood.
Last year at this time I made Date & Banana Loaf.