I “discovered” this dish when going through the spectacularly awesome cookbook Jerusalem which has become a sort of go to for tasty meat free meals. After a little experimentation, I’ve adapted it to something I think makes a kick ass fast dinner for those nights when you have to go directly from school to ballet and then to a piano lesson returning home 15 minutes before dinner is scheduled to be on the table in order to be able to fit in a shower and a little reading before bedtime. I also suggest that you make a double batch of the sauce component and put it in a jar in the fridge to use on top of any rich raviolis you may make or for use as a spicy pizza sauce …
- Large pan or pot, around 1 quart capacity (more if you’re going to want leftover sauce)
- Couple of large bowls
- Immersion blender (or a regular blender but that will add some serious potential for burning yourself)
- 6 ramekins
- Rimmed half sheet pan.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Harissa spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 900 grams roma tomatoes
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt or (preferably) labneh
Time: about an hour and a half of cooking
Yield: 6 portions
- Chop the tomatoes roughly. I usually chop them in to about 12 pieces.
- Chop the peppers into about half inch pieces.
- Heat the olive oil in the pan over a low medium heat (I put the burner on our stove between 3 and 4).
- While the olive oil is heating up, mix the Harissa spice, cumin, and salt in a small bowl.
- Toss the spice mix into the olive oil, add the tomato paste and the garlic.
- Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the peppers and cook until soft , about 8 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
- Add the tomatoes and cook about 14 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
- When the tomatoes are breaking down, which is to say when the start falling apart when you stir, being very careful to keep the blender immersed so it doesn’t spray boiling hot tomato sauce all over you and your kitchen, give the mixture a blast with the immersion blender.
If you are using a regular blender, I strongly recommend that you let the sauce cool completely before pouring it into the blender. This will reduce the potential for turning your blender into a sauce bomb and burning the ever living fecal matter out of yourself.
How smooth you make it is up to you. I tend to leave it a little chunky but that’s my preference.
- Let the sauce cool a bit to avoid burning yourself.
- Pour the sauce into a 1 quart container. I find that the soup containers from our local thai place are awesome for this. If you are going to use a glass jar (which is not a bad idea) just be careful that you have allowed the sauce to cool enough that it is not going to cause the glass to shatter.
- Put the sauce in the fridge.
- When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425º remove the sauce from the fridge and pour it into the ramekins
- Put the ramekins on the sheet pan with a little space in between them.
- Pour enough sauce into each ramekin so that they are about about 2/3 full.
- Put the sheet pan in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes. The timing here is not critical as you are really just heating up the sauce a little bit.
- Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven (it is hot by now) and gently crack an egg onto the mixture in each ramekin so that you don’t break the yolk.
- Put the sheet pan in the oven for about 7-9 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are just set. Ideally, you will have a runny yolk and firm whites but if you don’t like a runny yolk, feel free to go a little longer.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes, and then put each ramekin on a small plate to carry out to the table.
- Top with yogurt or labneh and serve making a point to inform your guests that it’s f***ing hot.
NOTE: If you don’t have 6 people to serve, make as many as you need and save the rest of the sauce for later. You can do some amazing things with it!