For this traditional take you are allowed to cheat a bit and use our Matbucha recipe with a little more liquid and herbs.
- 1 litre Matbucha (see Note)
- 250–500 ml (1–2 cups) water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 eggs (see Note)
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- bread, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat your chosen sauce in a large, wide, shallow pan, stirring in the water – you need to start with a loose sauce, as some of the liquid will evaporate during the cooking.
Season to taste with salt, then break the eggs into the sauce, one by one, making sure that you keep the yolks whole. Drag the egg whites a bit with a fork to allow them to mix slightly with the sauce. This will ensure that the flavour is spread evenly through your shakshuka.
Simmer over a very low heat for 10–15 minutes until the egg whites set nicely but the yolks are still runny. I always go for a runny yolk – nothing beats that buttery sensation in your mouth – but I know some people like their yolks cooked through, so if you belong to that school, simply cover the pan during the cooking process.
Season the yolks with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, make sure the bread is not too far away and dig in!
• Use Matbucha as is if you already have some in your fridge, but if preparing fresh, cook over a high heat in half the time.
• I serve 2 eggs per person, but you can go for more or fewer.
• I like to eat this straight from the pan and therefore wait for everybody to take theirs so that I can be last and keep the best bits to myself. Try it and you’ll see exactly what I mean, but just keep this information to yourself or you’ll need to fight for it. Been there, done that.