Thursday, September 3, 2015

Shakshuka Light

This recipe calls for a "fiery" tomato sauce, but I left out the green chiles for a more mild (but still flavorful) version.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp mild red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz canned chopped tomatoes, with their juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper, to taste
6 large eggs
2-4 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and red bell pepper, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Mix well, and let the spices cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the tomato paste, and stir that into the mixture.

Finally, add the chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat to simmer. and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the sauce comes together and reduces. When most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat. At this point, you could let all of the sauce cool completely, and refrigerate or freeze it in airtight containers.

Transfer half of the sauce into a smaller nonstick frying pan. Make 3 small indentations in the sauce. Crack each egg into a bowl and gently slide it into an indentation, one by one. Cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are as runny, or firm, as you like them (about 10 minutes).

Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve right away.

Adapted from:

Allergens: egg
Nutrition (1/3 recipe): 385 calories, 29 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 372 mg cholesterol, 649 mg sodium, 862 mg potassium, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 15 g protein, 62% vitamin A, 180% vitamin C, 16% iron, 11% calcium, 16% vitamin B-12, 23% vitamin B-6, 20% vitamin D, 13% copper, 18% folate, 21% manganese, 26% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 11% zinc
Cost (1/3 recipe): $3.30

P.S. The original recipe recommended one egg portion per person, but I think you probably want at least 2 eggs to feel satisfied.
P.P.S. You can freeze the leftover sauce (or share it with a friend).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Very Involved" Ziti with Eggplant and Tomatoes

Last week, a good friend of mine texted me, "I just made a very involved pasta salad". At the time, I thought, "hmm, okay cool... random, send me the recipe." But now after having made said pasta salad, I realize how much that is the understatement of the year. "Very involved" is exactly how I would describe it. Don't believe the New York Times' estimated prep time of forty-five minutes - it took me closer to an hour and a half or two hours to make.

But it is pretty delicious. And a ton of food. 

2 lb ripe campari tomatoes, cut in wedges
5 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped (optional)
2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound
12 oz whole wheat ziti or other short pasta
6 oz mild feta
1 small bunch of basil, for garnish

1. Heat broiler. Put tomato wedges in a shallow baking dish in one layer. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Broil tomatoes about 2 inches from heat until softened and lightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside until cool, and then add garlic, and red pepper flakes and capers, if desired. Stir gently to distribute.

2. Slice eggplant into long strips about 1/4-inch thick. Paint the top of eggplant strips with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and roast eggplant for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.

3. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse briefly, and blot dry. Put the pasta in a wide serving bowl, and add tomato mixture and eggplant. Toss gently to distribute. Taste for salt and hot pepper and adjust.

4. Crumble cheese over top. Drizzle with tomato juices leftover in the pan, and garnish with chopped basil. 

Adapted from:

Allergens: wheat, milk
Nutrition (1/6 recipe): 330 calories, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 338 mg sodium, 786 mg potassium, 34 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 10 g protein, 25% vitamin A, 32% vitamin C, 17% calcium, 11% iron 23% vitamin B-6, 10% vitamin E, 16% copper, 16% copper, 18% folate, 17% magnesium, 61% manganese, 14% niacin, 14% pantothenic acid, 23% phosphorous, 24% riboflavin, 29% selenium, 20% thiamin, 11% zinc
Cost (1/6 recipe): $3.08

P.S. The quality of the pasta salad was decreased by about the fourth day - especially the eggplant. So, unless you are making it for a party or a group, you probably want to cut the recipe in half to make sure it gets eaten.