Here’s a very flavorful and quick brunch or weekend breakfast dish: Tomato, Onion And Smoked Paprika Sauce With Poached Eggs.
After trying to make shakshouka (shirred eggs in tomato sauce) several times and being totally frustrated by gelatinous, underdone egg whites and overcooked yolks, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a slightly different version that works. The solution to the wonky undercooked/overcooked eggs was simple: poach them, separately from the sauce, of course. I also gave the revised dish an Italian slant with the basil and grated cheese garnishes. If you need to learn how to poach eggs, I’ve written a separate article about that.
Speaking of Italian, use canned tomatoes from the Campania region (such as San Marzano or Fedeli brand) for the best flavor. If true Italian canned tomatoes aren’t available, the San Marzano “style” tomatoes are also very good and generally available at a lower price point.
- 4 poached eggs
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 can (28 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand (Italian tomatoes from the Campania region preferred)
- Red pepper flakes to taste (one or two pinches) — or a pinch of cayenne pepper
- Sea salt (or Kosher salt) and black pepper to taste (two to three pinches of each)
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese for sprinkling on top
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions until softened (not browned), about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and paprika to the skillet and stir to cook for one minute.
- Add the tomatoes along with their juices to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 7 minutes.
- Taste again for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- To serve: top with a poached egg, sprinkle with cheese, garnish with basil. Have toasted crusty bread alongside for dipping up the sauce.