It seems likely that nearly everything I like to cook and eat has a good dose of cheese in it. I can't deny it, I love cheese. I also tend to love things with a tomato sauce, whether it is full of vegetables, slightly curried or delightfully cheesey. If I am cooking, you can bet there is likely to be tomato, onion, mushroom, garlic and spinach in the dish. All things my ex husband greatly disliked. I kept cooking these things trying to get rid of him but he just wouldn't leave so finally I had to. No, I'm kidding, honestly! Really.
One day while wandering around on the internet looking at recipes I came across something called Shakshuka or Shakshouka. I don't remember where I originally found it but there are recipes all over the net, if one only googles it. Here is an explanation of it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakshouka
Believed to be Tunisian in origin, it is basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce so although I probably pinned it to my long neglected pinterest board, I just kept the basic idea of it in my head. Some recipes include feta cheese with it and some don't. I am quite fond of feta but also very happily eat this dish without it.
A recipe isn't really required. I used a bit of marinara sauce and add my favourite veggies, those mentioned above and sometimes some roasted eggplant and/or some sweet peppers if I have them. In this case I forgot both the peppers and the feta though I did have them on hand. Sometimes I just use come canned tomatoes mashed up a bit. I add salt, pepper, and a bit of spicey pepper such as cayenne or chipotle according to my taste preference.
The main thing is to aim for a spicy tomato sauce with some chunky veggies in it. I tried it out with some chopped olives and that was quite tasty.
When the sauce is simmering in the pan, crack a few eggs into it and pop a lid over them to poach them on low heat. I eat three eggs at a time for this meal. I like to make a big batch of the spicy sauce to keep on hand so I can just heat some up and cook eggs in it any time.
I'm not fancy. I dump it all into a bowl and happily eat my eggy, tomatoey, veggie stew. Fancy recipe sites make it look pretty garnished with parsley and feta.
This photo directly above comes from Smitten Kitchen where there is a recipe, information and apparently 300 comments worth of controversy and contention over which country this dish originated in and what ingredients should be in it.
I have no desire for such controversy so I will not call my dish Shakshouka and claim merely to be inspired by it.
I don't eat grains, but I'm sure this dish is very tasty with couscous or quinoa. It's probably also great with nice crusty pieces of bread and some wine. I think it is totally appropriate as a meal any time of day though I usually have it for dinner.
Perhaps some time I will follow an original recipe a little more closely, because how much fun is it to say 'I had Shakshouka for dinner tonight!'