Shashuka/Comparing Recipes

Has anyone tried ALL the Ottolenghi recipes for Shashuka? I'm interested in the comparative benefits of canned tomatoes/harissa combo and the fresh tomato/peppers combo. Thanks!

  • Posted by: EG1231
  • February 19, 2016


Maryam February 24, 2016
I never use a recipe, and often use it as a medium for using up produce. I've used any variety of peppers including hatch and poblano, or no peppers at all. I've also added in kale, fennel, zucchini, chard . . . . Just make sure that the seasoning is right and you're good to go! I also like to have a plate of garnishes that we can each add as desired - usually chopped cilantro, parsley, sliced radishes, crumbled feta.
miss J. February 20, 2016
I really like the Shakshouka recipe from "Zahav" by Michael Solomonov w canned tomatoes & peppers.
pierino February 19, 2016
I'm reasonably certain the Israeli dish shashuka is actually derived from a Neapolitan dish called rather poetically, eggs in purgatory. Naples was the hub of the canned tomato intry going back to the 1830's. Italy in the early twentieth century was messing around in Libya to no good end. It was probably introduced there and eventually found its way to Israel. They are too similar for there not to be a connection.

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amysarah February 20, 2016
Actually, I think it may be the other way around. It's possible Italy introduced making shashuka with canned tomatoes, evolving into Eggs in Purgatory. But according to some food historians, it originated in some form much earlier in the Ottoman Empire, spreading through the Middle East, eventually to Israel. Some also say it originated in Morocco/Tunisia/Algeria - the Berber word Chakchouka means vegetable stew. There's also early versions in Libyan Jewish cooking, and in Yemen - Claudia Roden writes that it included a variety of pre-tomato vegetables (fava beans, artichokes, etc.,) with a fried egg on top. I have no idea if this figures into it, but there's also a version in Spain (including chorizo) - given their history with the tomato, North Africa and southern Italy, maybe there's some earlier intersection there as well.
ChefJune February 19, 2016
Have you tried any of the Shakshuka recipes on this site?
creamtea February 19, 2016
Shakshouka is a with endless "variants" based on what you have around. It's basically tomatoes, peppers and eggs with a little heat and if you wish, a little feta. There's green shakshouka, red shakshouka, you just make it with what you have. You can blister the peppers, saute the peppers, add onion, whatever. You can make your own harrissa or just add a spoonful of any of many types of ground dried chile. I probably make it differently each time I make should make whichever appeals to you, though personally I really like it with good canned tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted "San Marzano-type". They're great.
702551 February 19, 2016
Don't forget that a recipe is an idea, not marching orders. Undoubtedly, there are countless other versions for shashuka being made in kitchens all over the world.

Ottolenghi himself probably tried many other combinations, but settled on a handful that he deemed distinctive enough to be included in his book as discrete recipes.

I assume he thinks that each one brings something different and can be enjoyed.

I suggest you look at the various recipes and pick the one that uses the ingredients that you like the best. That's the best way to put something on the table that *you* will enjoy.
Ali S. February 19, 2016
How many recipes for Shakshuka does he have?
702551 February 19, 2016
While admittedly I haven't cooked anything from Ottolenghi, just by your basic description it would seem that the fresh tomato/pepper shashuka would be made when both ingredients are in season (like August, not February) and thus the end result would be flavorful.

The canned tomatoes/harissa version would be more appropriate in the dead of winter since fresh tomatoes are completely insipid right now.

That's really the main benefit of the canned tomatoes, is to have a version of the ingredient when the actual produce is out of season.

Good luck.
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