The Moroccan Egg Variations

A Skillet of Goodness
This thing. This thing is easy thing to make. It's also super flexible so that it can be tweaked with whatever you have on hand. Well, that is, as long as you have some marinara and eggs. It also helps if you have soaked or canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans around*. Still, there's enough wiggle room to add plenty of things to this dish.

I've made a few variations myself by adding goat cheese and pine nuts, both of which worked great (now to try them together), and adding basil and spinach to the sauce. I've made it with garlic and without. I've served it with buttered baguette slices and with naan, tortillas, and pita for sopping. It's versatile, convenient and a tasty way to clear out some inventory.

It speaks to its convenience and versatility that versions of this dish exist in a variety of cultures. Known variations include Moroccan Eggs, Uova in Purgatorio (Eggs in Purgatory), Tomatoes and Eggs, Shakshouka, and others. Being a toasted chickpea fan, I went with a Moroccan version for a jumping off point. A recipe follows.

Oven Ready

 Ingredients (for one variation, serves three-four peeps):

6 Large eggs
2 Tablespoons of pure olive oil (for high heat cooking)
2 Tablespoons sweet paprika
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 Cup soaked chickpeas/garbanzo beans or
1 Cup soaked chickpeas and 1/2 cup pine nuts OR
2 Cups of cooked rice (I haven't tried this yet, but I don't see why not)
1 1/2 Jar marinara sauce (or diced canned tomatoes)
1/2 Cup goat cheese
3 Cloves garlic, sliced thin

In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet (or scale the recipe back for a 10 inch skillet), heat the oil and spices over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and follow with the chickpeas as soon as the garlic is translucent, which will happen quickly. Toast the chickpeas (/pine nuts), tossing frequently to avoid burning. At the same time, heat the marinara (or tomatoes), in an appropriate saucepan and heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. After about ten minutes pour the hot sauce over the chickpeas and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add the goat cheese across the top and then carefully crack the eggs over the marinara so that the whites cover the entire surface. Carefully place the skillet into the oven and cook until the whites are firm and the yolks are still runny. Remove from oven and top with flat-leaf parsley. Serve in bowls with bread for sopping.

It's that simple. As time goes on I'll try and add more variations to this post if any come to me. This is a great little dish, and it's a great replacement for those "I'm in a rush so we're eating pasta" nights. Chickpeas are better for you than a bowl of pasta. Right?

Me? I'm going to work on getting the eggs cracked more quickly so that I don't end up with unevenly cooked eggs in the dish. I may have to go two-handed. I'll let you know.

Now go, and make this dish!


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