I am now well into my third week of being gluten free, and I’m definitely feeling more human again. However, I’ve been eating a lot of replacement products, which are a) usually processed quite a bit and b) a great way to gain weight, so I’m spending this week focusing on working more naturally gluten-free foods into my diet (full post on that to come!). I’ve been craving shakshuka since I got back from Israel, so I figured that would be a great naturally gluten-free dinner to start with. If you’ve never had it, shakshuka is a simple yet incredibly tasty dish: you take a spiced tomato sauce, crack eggs into it, and use the heat of the sauce to poach the eggs within it.
However, this is also a dish that is great for breaking my natural no gluten rule, as this dish is best enjoyed with pita to sop up the sauce and runny egg. I used sunflower bread from Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, which was about 17 times more flavorful than store-bought Udi’s. While more expensive, the flavor was so much better that I think the extra money for taste will definitely be worth it in more bread-focused meals. The slices are also normal-bread sized, which is glorious. Excited to try making a sandwich with it!
I poked around online and didn’t see any single shakshuka recipe that called out to me, so I mixed and matched what I liked from each to come up with the recipe below. This makes enough sauce for at least 4 people, and you should budget 2 eggs per person. Feel free to adjust the spicing if it seems like too much for you, but I wouldn’t recommend going below 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne.
1/2 large onion or 1 medium onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt (increase to 1 1/2 to 2 tsp if your tomatoes do not have added salt)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less, depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tsp paprika, sweet or smoked
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
pita or gluten-free bread of your choice
Pour enough olive oil to comfortably coat the bottom of a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid (only one pot! How great is that?). Heat oil over medium heat, and add onion once hot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and are a bit translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices (everything before tomato-ey ingredients) and cook, stirring to combine well, until your kitchen smells incredible, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine, then add crushed and diced tomatoes. Stir well until everything is very well combined, turn heat down to low (not all the way down, but pretty close), and cook sauce uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
One by one, crack an egg into a small bowl, then slide egg into sauce (this prevents shells/bad eggs from ruining your sauce). Repeat until all eggs are nestled in the sauce. Cover and cook until eggs are poached and whites are set, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Occasionally uncover skillet and gently baste the tops of the eggs with a bit of sauce.
Carefully scoop out eggs with a healthy amount of sauce and divide onto plates. Serve with bread for dipping and sopping up sauce.