- For the labneh:
- 2 cups full-cream plain yoghurt
- For the shakshuka:
- 3–4 T olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 red peppers, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 t sweet paprika
- 2 t ground cumin
- crushed chillies, a pinch
- 2 x 400 g cans tomatoes
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8–12 free-range eggs
- 100–200 g feta, crumbled
- 3–4 T parsley, finely chopped
- pitas, warmed, for serving
- hot sauce, for serving (optional)
To make the labneh, line a large strainer or colander with clean muslin or a coffee filter. Place over a bowl. Pour in the yoghurt. Cover and chill overnight until thick.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Gently heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Add the onion and fennel and cook gently until starting to soften. Add the red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until very soft. If necessary add a little more oil. Stir in the garlic and spices.
Crush the tomatoes and add with any juices. Stir in the tomato paste, stock and a little seasoning. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until thickened but still saucy.
Make 8–12 indentations in the sauce and carefully break in the eggs. Top with the feta and parsley. Moisten with a slick of olive oil. Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are slightly runny.
Serve immediately, adding spoonfuls of labneh at the table. Pass around the warm pitas and hot sauce.
Cook's note: Add feta and fennel for a delicious twist to this much-loved Middle Eastern-inspired dish.