Spicy shakshuka with cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, red bell peppers, Middle Eastern spices, feta, baked eggs, homemade za'atar pita chips, fresh parsley & mint
I always get nervous about putting baked eggs on a pizza, because it's so hard to get the timing right. You want the eggs to be cooked, but also runny, but also you want the pizza crust to be cooked and not burnt. So if we're doing egg pizza, we usually go fried or poached or something else that can be made separately and added on at the end. But every once in a while we get ambitious. And we were craving shakshuka. Full disclosure: we overcooked the eggs slightly. It was more of a jammy egg than a runny egg. But in fairness, they look prettier when they're nice and yellow for the pictures, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices. So when you make this pizza, just remember: it's okay to have that slight white film over the yolk—you don't need to get it as yellow as it is in these pictures if you want it to be runny. Just keep an eye on it. And whatever, worst case you get what we got, which was still delicious.
1 ball of pizza dough
salt & pepper
flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone
1 handful crumbled feta
2 jalapeños, seeded & diced
1 red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded & thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed & sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
pinch of cayenne
pinch of chili flakes
1 tablespoon baharat spice mix
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1-2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium pita, cut through the center (i.e. open the pocket & separate the layers) & then cut into wedges
2 tablespoons za'atar
Preheat your oven to 420° F. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the peppers & onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss your pita wedges with the za'atar, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and some salt & pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for about 4-6 minutes, or until they are just crispy, but being careful not to burn (remember, they'll go in the oven again with your pizza). Increase the oven temperature to 500° F.
Put the canned tomatoes with their juices in a bowl and crush them with your hands. In a separate bowl, add salt & pepper to your halved cherry tomatoes and let them sit.
In the pan with your peppers and onions, add the garlic and spices (cumin, paprika, cayenne, chili flakes & baharat). Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 more minutes.
Add your crushed tomatoes to the pan, along with about half a cup of water, and reduce the heat to medium. Bring to a simmer and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. You'll want this to be a little thicker than a normal shakshuka, because you don't want it to make your pizza dough soggy, so let it reduce for about 20-25 minutes. Season with salt.
Now you can prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil, followed by a generous layer of your tomato sauce mixture. Add the cherry tomatoes and feta, and pop it in the oven.
Bake until the crust is starting to turn golden but isn't quite ready yet. Take it out and form 4 wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon, gently cracking eggs into them. Season the eggs with salt. Sprinkle the pita chips around the pizza, being careful not to break the egg yolks.
Bake the pizza for a couple more minutes until the egg whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. If the crust is starting to get too brown, you can turn off the oven and let the eggs cook from the residual heat. You can even add a large pot lid over the pizza to speed up the process, but be careful not to overcook the eggs. They will also continue to cook slightly from the heat of the pizza stone, even after you take it out of the oven.
When the eggs are ready, take the pizza out and sprinkle it with the fresh herbs. Then slice it up and enjoy!
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