Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shakshuka Pizza

I had my first shakshuka when I was in Israel a few years ago at this restaurant I'll never be able to find again. I'd heard of the dish--eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce--before and was very curious about how it'd taste. I found it to be warming and comforting without being heavy.

It's pretty easy to make at home, but the limiting factor for me is always not having any bread to eat along with it. But then one day I had an extra ball of pizza dough and thought, why don't I just cook the eggs and tomato sauce on top of it? And thus shakshuka pizza was born.

The first time I made it I wasn't sure if the 7 minutes in the oven would be enough to cook the eggs so I made sure the tomato sauce was still hot when I topped the pizza. I guessed wrong, though, and the yolks ended up setting by the time I took the pizza out of the oven. I prefer my yolks still runny while the whites are set so the next time I refrigerated the sauce first and they came out perfect. 

I like to scoop up all the runny yolk and spread it all around the top of the pizza.  It might not be pretty, but it sure is yummy!

Shakshuka Pizza 
makes two 10" pizzas

2 8 oz. balls of pizza dough
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt, to taste
4 eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Parsley, chopped

Place a pizza stone on an oven rack set at the top 1/3 of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 550°F.

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium.  Add the chopped onions and saute until starting to soften.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or two until the garlic has lost its bite.  Add the cumin, chili powder, and red pepper flakes and cook until the spices are toasty and fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  If you want your egg yolks to be set, use the sauce while it's still hot.  If you want your egg yolks to be runny, cool the sauce down and chill in the fridge before using.

Stretch the dough onto a parchment paper-lined flexible cutting board.

Spread half a tablespoon of olive oil on top of the dough.  Top with half of the tomato sauce.

Crack two eggs onto the pizza.  Top with half of the feta cheese.

Slide one of the pizzas and parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil for 1-2 minutes.  Bake until the eggs are set to your liking and the crust is golden with spots of brown and a few small spots of char. 

Use tongs to slide the pizza with the parchment paper from the pizza stone onto a cutting board.  Top the pizza with the chopped parsley.  Slice and serve!

Next:  Crimini Mushroom Risotto
Previously:  Almond Pesto Pizza

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