Perfect for serving at a winter brunch, this recipe is an adaptation of shakshuka, a homey classic of North Africa. The dish tastes best when the egg whites are set but the yolks are still fairly runny. Bread is indispensable for sopping up the flavorful sauce and the rich yolks.
Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and diced
1 Tbs. sweet paprika
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. anchovy paste
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 can (28 oz./875 g) whole peeled tomatoes
3 Tbs. sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro leaves
Crusty bread for serving
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
In an ovenproof nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, paprika, cumin and fennel seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the anchovy paste, tomato paste, tomatoes and their juices, sugar and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, breaking the tomatoes apart with the back of a spoon. Use the back of a spoon to create 6 wells in the tomatoes, carefully crack the eggs, and place one in each well.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the eggs are set, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese, cilantro and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Serve warm with crusty bread. Serves 4 to 6.
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