Shuhk·shyoo·kuh! It sounds funny, but it’s a pretty simple Mediterranean dish that meets all 3 of our criteria: Delicious, nutritious and low-maintenance. It’s basically a one-pot dish consisting of a tomato sauce with eggs baked in. With eggs instead of a traditional meat protein, it’s extremely affordable. It’s always made with onions, red bell pepper and garlic, but you can add lots of other veggies if you’re trying to use up fresh produce that you have in the fridge. I’ve incorporated eggplant, which makes it heartier and is an excellent source of all kinds of vitamins/nutrients. Even though it’s a pasta-like sauce, it’s not traditionally served over pasta, but we did since it’s inexpensive and helps fill up the whole family. I’ve topped it with a blend of Italian cheeses, but you can use feta, goat cheese, mozzarella- you name it! Usually it’s also made with red chili peppers to make the sauce spicy, but we’ve left that out to be kid-friendly. However, if you prefer a spicier option, see the below recipe for a delicious chili pepper relish you can use as a topping!
Half of one eggplant, sliced lengthwise and then sliced in strips so you can have nice small cubes of equal size.
One small yellow onion
One red bell pepper (or whatever color you have)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped up
4 eggs (add more for each extra family member)
Jar of marinara
Shredded Italian cheeses of choice
Handful of fresh parsley, cilantro or basil or a combination of your choice
Salt and pepper
Couple Dashes of Cumin powder
Spaghetti noodles or pasta of your choice
Have your vegetables prepped. Chop up your onion, bell pepper, garlic and eggplant and red chili pepper if using. Lay your eggplant out on a napkin on a sheet pan. Salt well and let it sit for 10 minutes, then pat dry. This will draw all the extra water out.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat with a few turns of olive oil. Sauté the onion and bell pepper first for about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until tender. Add the majority of your parsley (save a little) and tomato sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. Make 4 pockets in the sauce and crack the eggs into them.
If you have a lid for your pan: cover, turn the heat OFF and let sit for 10 minutes to finish cooking the eggs.
If you do not have a lid for the pan you’re using, have the oven preheated to 350, cook for 3 minutes and then turn the oven off, leaving them in there for another 5-7 minutes to finish cooking.
Top with cheese and the remaining parsley. Serve over spaghetti and with a salad on the side.
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