These Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Harissa & Red Pepper are on our regular menu rotation for a good reason. They pack great flavours and powerful nutrition for a moreish one-pot meal that’s ready in only 15 minutes.
6 inexpensive ingredients for brunch, lunch or dinner perfection.
I’ve been having Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce for many many years. In fact, it’s a recipe that both my grandma and mother in Italy have been making my whole life.
Now, I’d never seen eggs cooked this way anywhere else before and it’s only in recent years that I have realised that they’re actually a very popular Middle Eastern and North African breakfast dish that goes under the name of “Shakshuka”. Thinking about it, because of its geographical location, Sardinia (the Italian region I come from) was subject to migrations from North Africa for a long time so my guess is that it’s a dish that was introduced that way. I really must remember to ask my grandma where she got the inspiration from or whether perhaps it was something that her mother used to make too?
Grandma and mum would always make an Italian version of this egg dish so they’d either use leftover pasta sauce or make a very simple tomato sauce with onion and fresh basil.
Being the spicy food junkie that I am, I adapted this to introduce one of my favourite ingredients: harissa. If you’ve come across my Bulgur Salad with Harissa Butternut Squash and Warm Halloumi & Lentil Salad with Harissa & Honey Dressing then you’ll know how obsessed I am. I’m pretty sure that it’ll get to the point where I have to create a separate section just for harissa recipes here on the blog. But I digress…
These Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce are just a fantastic one-pot recipe that works beautifully for any meal of the day. You can serve it with buttered toast for a scrumptious brunch, with warm pitta bread for a quick lunch or pair with a green salad and crusty bread for the perfect weeknight dinner.
Plus once you’re familiar with the basic recipe, there are loads of variations you can try – I’ve popped in some suggestions later on in this post.
How to make these Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Harissa and Red Pepper
Whether you want to enjoy them for brunch or supper, these Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce are very very easy to make.
Start off by heating a little olive oil in a frying pan. Throw in the peppers and cook gently until they’re starting to soften, then add the harissa paste. Mix well, tip in the chopped tomatoes and allow the sauce to cook for about 5 minutes to reduce. You want a sauce that’s rich and thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato sauce, spacing them out evenly. Cover and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Uncover and scatter with fresh parsley before serving right away with your favourite bread.
Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce – 5 variations you can try:
- Add a small tin of drained white beans or chickpeas to the tomato sauce for a more substantial meal.
- Crumbled feta goes so well with these eggs. Sprinkle it on top just before serving.
- Skip the harissa and instead of just using red peppers, throw in aubergine chunks and courgette slices for a moreish ratatouille-style eggs.
- Spinach, kale and chard all work great in this recipe. Add them to the pan when the sauce is almost done and cook until wilted before cracking the eggs directly on top.
- For an Italian-inspired quick dinner, leave out the harissa and parsley. Instead, sprinkle grated vegetarian parmesan and chopped fresh basil on the eggs before serving with warm garlic bread to scoop up the sauce.
These Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Harissa & Red Pepper pack great flavours and powerful nutrition for a moreish one-pot meal that’s ready in only 15 minutes. 6 inexpensive ingredients for brunch, lunch or dinner perfection.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tsp of harissa paste
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste
A handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the peppers. Cook gently for a few minutes until they’re starting to soften.
- Add the harissa paste, fry for 30 seconds, then tip in the chopped tomatoes. Allow the sauce to cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down. Season to taste.
- Crack the eggs directly over the tomato sauce and cover the pan with a lid. Cook until egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Remove the lid and scatter with fresh parsley before serving right away with your favourite bread.
Don’t forget to save this recipe to your favourite Pinterest board for later!