Shakshuka is huevos rancheros by way of the Sahara desert. It’s a stovetop casserole composed of cloud-like eggs that are lovingly simmered in a silken, spiced tomato sauce. The dish is an everyday breakfast or dinner in North African countries like Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia—and it’s wildly popular in Israel, too, the result of Jewish immigration in the 1950s. In cafés, it’s often served in sizzling, individual-sized cast-iron skillets. Once you’ve tried shakshuka, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about when you’ll eat it again.
Place the oil in a large, nonstick skillet and warm it over low heat. Smash and peel the garlic, add it to the pan, and let it mellow out in the oil while you make the shakshuka.
Warm the oil in another large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2–3 minutes. While the oil heats, halve the onion and bell pepper, then cut them into thin strips. Cook the vegetables gently until very soft, about 7 minutes. While the veggies cook, peel and mince the garlic; place it in a small bowl and add the cumin, paprika, salt, Aleppo pepper, and black pepper. Add the spices to the pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Make indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and gently crack the eggs into the wells. Season the eggs with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. (You may want to spoon some of the tomato sauce over the whites to help them cook; be gentle and don’t agitate the yolk.) While the eggs cook, mince the parsley.
Increase the heat under the garlic oil to medium high. Add the spinach and toss to coat it with the oil. When the spinach is almost all wilted, turn off the heat and season with the salt and pepper.
Divide the spinach among individual serving plates, then top it with eggs, generous spoonfuls of sauce, and a dusting of minced parsley.
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