Because I am a poor student, I tend to favor vegetarian meals. Meat is delicious, but it’s also 1. expensive and 2. easy to ruin and thus waste. Besides, there are things like shakshuka, so meat is irrelevant.

I first had shakshuka at a friend’s house about two months ago and kind of freaked out over the simplicity. It’s just eggs poached in tomato sauce. So very few ingredients! Which means it’s cheap! And yet it’s tasty! There’s no jabbing with meat thermometers or deglazing or anything weird. Cook sauce, crack eggs, eat. It’s also great for your finals week, when you want to be able to whip up things fast without going shopping and then get back to work on your Renaissance Demonology final.

Best of all, eggs and tomatoes can become any meal. Breakfast? Lunch? Brunch? Boom. I had mine for dinner with a side of fakey-tabbouleh salad with quinoa and chickpeas, but pita is a traditional accompaniment, and I would say any kind of bread product would work well here.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onions when hot. Cook until soft, around 6 minutes, then add garlic and spices. Cook for another two minutes, without burning garlic, and add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes more. Add salt to taste.

Crack eggs into sauce and cover skillet. Cook until eggs are set, around 5-6 minutes. Uncover and baste egg whites with sauce using a spoon. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.