When I started organizing my own kitchen, I realized that part of being an adult was having “staples” – the things you always have in case you want to make a quick meal and brainless. While everyone’s list may be different, some things I always keep at home are canned tomatoes, eggs, and pasta. I joke that I was an Italian grandmother in a past life.
I have always made red sauce from scratch, I like to roll handmade pasta and bake bread. Although I love a good Italian red sauce, tomatoes are such a diverse staple. All we have to do is cross the Mediterranean Sea from Italy to North Africa for another way of growing tomatoes.
This quirky pasta recipe was inspired by shakshuka, a North African breakfast dish, a spicy dish of simmered tomatoes with poached eggs. It was the perfect dish to turn into a pasta starter. I like to use pasta shells as a container to carry tomato sauce and liquid gold egg yolk, but really any smaller pasta will work. Be careful, it’s spicy. This shakshuka pasta will make your tongue tingle and warm you from the inside, making it the perfect dish to keep warm in the dead of winter. If spicy isn’t your thing, check out the recipe for easy modifications.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
● 3 tablespoons of neutral oil (olive or coconut oil)
● 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
● 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
● 4 garlic cloves, minced
● 2 teaspoons of cumin
● 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper*
● 1 teaspoon of paprika*
● 28 ounces canned tomatoes
● Salt and pepper to taste
● 2 cups of pasta, shellfish or bow tie; if you choose to use fettuccine or spaghetti, break them into smaller pieces
● 1 cup of water
● 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled; more more for garnish
● 4 eggs, you can add more if you wish, but be careful of the space in your pan
● Cilantro (optional for garnish)
*For a less spicy dish, halve the cayenne pepper and paprika measures.
- In a large ovenproof skillet (should hold 5-6 cups of food), heat the oil over medium-low heat and sauté the red peppers, onions and garlic until tender. scented. Add seasonings and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Then add the pasta and 1 cup of water. Stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- After 15 minutes, stir in the feta.
- Use a wooden spoon or measuring cup to make small wells in the pasta. Make sure the well does not expose the bottom of the pan. Make as many wells as the eggs you plan to use (this recipe calls for 4). Crack the eggs into the wells, place the pan in the oven (uncovered) and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are just set. The egg whites should be white and the eggs should shake when the pan is moved.
- Serve as a large ball of pasta and eggs. Garnish with additional feta and cilantro.