Adapted from PLENTY

I recieved Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty for Christmas this year. When flipping through its beautiful pages this recipe immediately caught my eye and for good reason….it’s absolutely delicious!

I finally got around to making it last week. It was the perfect week for a comfort meal like this. Outside  was cold, fall on your bum more than once icy, and rainy! I spent the afternoon preparing it with my unbelievably patient Poppy entertaining herself with all the pots, pans and bowls she could reach.

When serving this to Poppy I spooned a bit of the mixture onto some rice and she devoured it. Kegan and I enjoyed ours with some hot crunchy white bread…after putting Poppy to bed.

Serves 4

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

3/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil – *note: because this was my first time making Shakshuka I followed this recipe to a T, however the next time I make this I will use far less oil.

2 large onions, sliced

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips

2 yellow bell peppers, cut into strips

4 tsp muscovado sugar

2 bay leaves

6 thyme sprigs, leaves only, chopped

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra to garnish

6 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp saffron threads

pinch of cayenne pepper, or more depending on how much you enjoy the heat

salt and black pepper to taste

up to 1 1/8 cups of water -*note: I did not need the water when I made this. I also had to cook it longer to achieve the desired consistency before putting in the oven.

8 eggs or less if you only use one per cocotte

Over high heat; In a extra large pan, dry roast the cumin seeds for 2 minutes. Add the oil and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Now add the peppers, sugar, bay leaves, parsley, cilantro and thyme. Continue cooking over high heat for 5-10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and a bit of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture becomes a thick pasta sauce consistency. If needed you can add bits of water during this period to make sure it does not dry out ( I did not need any water….maybe my tomatoes were super juicy? ) Taste and adjust the seasoning. You want a nice strong flavour.

Remove the bay leaves and devide the mixture amongst 4 mini round cocottes ( I had enough left overs for 2 more servings ) make sure the mixture is still hot. Now make a little hole in the middle of each serving of pepper mixture and carefully break an egg into each hole. Sprinkle with a little salt and cover with lids. Cook in the oven at 325 for about 12-14 minutes. Check after 10 min, you want the whites of the eggs to be completely set and the yolks beginning to thicken but not harden. Once the eggs have cooked, remove from the oven; sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve with a nice crunchy white loaf. Enjoy!

* You could also try topping with a little feta! so good.

Comments and positivity are always welcomed, however I am currently not accepting complaints or criticisms.

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