Why hello!!! I know it has been over 2 weeks since my last post, if you remember from the last few posts I did, I was on vacation. I spent a month in the Okanagan visiting my parents, and I spent most of that time canning my stock pile for the year. I was able to eat so much fresh produce, my favourite tradition while there, is to pick peaches right off the tree at an orchard down the hill from where I grew up. I love being able to share these experiences with my children and for them to be able to see exactly where their food comes from.
After a month away I am very happy to get back to a schedule. All day today I was doing what I like to call, fall clean up. I wiped down shelves and places that honestly I don't ever think about when I do my daily cleaning. I purged a few items from my house that I do not understand why on earth I still had them. Do you ever have a cleaning urge and then find yourself wondering why you had all that junk? What really motivates me to do a deep purge is to watch Hoarders on TV, but that is a whole other blog post for another day!
Today is Monday as everyone would know, ques all the Monday memes. I don't mind Monday's, it is a start to a new week and a great way to feel refreshed. A band wagon I am jumping on is "Meatless Monday's", I like mixing things up and I don't always like to have meat with my meals. I know my husband is a bit sad with that but I know he will love this dish!
Shakshouka is traditionally from North Africa and the Middle East. It is a dish of eggs that are poached in a tomato sauce. The sauce usually can be quite spicy, the spices most commonly used are cumin and chili peppers. It is a very aromatic dish and has some wonderful fragrance coming from it.
Today though I decided that I was going to make an Italian version. I have seen a few ones, but this one I am using more of a marinara sauce, then just a tomato sauce. This is a quick dish that you can even make some of it ahead of time, that way you can throw it together 30 minutes before you want to eat.
2 - 500 milliliter cans of whole tomatoes
2 - 156 milliliter cans of tomato paste
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of finely grated fresh Parmesan Reggiano cheese
6 large eggs
1 package of fresh basil, or 10 large leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, diced
salt and pepper to taste
6 thinly sliced pieces of sourdough bread or ciabatta
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the bread with some of the olive oil, only brush the tops. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese onto all the bread. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large pot heat up the oil on a medium heat. Add the diced onions, stirring often, cook the onions until they start turning transparent in colour. Add the garlic and continue to cook and stir for one more minute.
Add the cans of tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir the ingredients, allow to come to a bubble. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until about half of the water evaporates. Remember to stir often.
Add one cup of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese to the sauce, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, cut up half of the basil into thin strips and add to the sauce, also add half of the fresh parsley.
In a shallow round casserole dish or a deep large oven proof skillet, pour the tomato sauce into it. Crack open the eggs on at a time into a small bowl, make a opening into the sauce and pour an egg into it. Repeat with all the other eggs, making sure there is space in between the eggs. You want the sauce to hug around the eggs to allow the juice from the tomatoes to poach the eggs.
Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan Reggiano on top and place in the oven. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking. We cook them so they are slightly runny in the center.
Remove the dish from the oven, slice the rest of the fresh basil thin, sprinkle the rest of the fresh herbs on top of the dish. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy with the crostini on the side.
I highly recommend making a big batch of the sauce, then freezing it in smaller containers. That way you can make this dish when you are in a crunch for time. you could really make this a meal that takes 30 minutes to make. The salt that is in the cheese gives a lot of the salt to the dish, that is why I don't give an amount for salt. This dish was a great way to end a Monday!
As you can tell in the picture I made a half batch, the full batch I make in a bigger dish, you want to allow lots of room for the sauce to poach the eggs.
Happy Cooking everyone!
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