“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”Michael Pollan
Make this recipe when you can’t decide what to make for dinner; it will please both the pasta lovers in the house as well as those craving greens and what might be described as ‘healthier fare’. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to combine pasta with stir-fry before, but a few recent Instagram posts by fellow food blogger Sarahfrom Well and Full (who also shared a pasta stir-fry recipe!) helped the dots to connect in a way that struck me dumb. I could not get the idea out of my head for a few days – I knew I had to make it. This meal truly is the best of two very delicious food worlds!
The sauce is an easier, pared down version of this popular Stir-Fry Sauce I posted a few years back. I stumbled upon this simple concoction when searching for a sauce to cook Gai-Lan in. I love its basic nature and despite the minimal ingredient list, it has all I want in a sauce like this. For this version, I used a hearty whole grain pasta, but you could use virtually any pasta shape here with good results. The recipe below will feed two very hungry people, or realistically 3-4 for a smaller portion. The leftovers will keep easily for a few days and will re-heat well too. Enjoy!
Pain de mie .bread
300 grams of dry pasta of choice 2-3 tbsp sesame oil for cooking, divided 1 tbsp soy sauce 400 grams firm Tofu, cubed 5 cups chopped broccoli crowns 2-3 sliced scallions for garnish
First, pre-cook the dry pasta according to package directions. Once it’s cooked, drain and set aside in the colander while you cook the rest of the ingredients. Combine the ingredients for the sauce by combining the Mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes. Stir the cornstarch into the water with a fork in a separate small bowl and add to the sauce.
Begin by cooking the tofu. Heat a wok and add a tbsp of sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and the soy sauce. Cook, on high heat, stirring here and there for 5 minutes, until all sides are evenly browned. Once the tofu is ready, set aside in a small bowl. With a paper towel, quickly wipe the wok of any tofu debris and return the wok to high heat. Add another splash of sesame oil and the prepared broccoli. Sprinkle the broccoli lightly with fine salt and cook, stirring frequently until the broccoli is starting to turn a deep green and char here and there from the high heat cooking (about 3-5 minutes). Feel free to add more sesame oil to the wok while the broccoli cooks if you feel it needs it. Once the broccoli looks properly cooked, stir in the cooked pasta and tofu and mix well. Keeping the heat high, give the sauce mixture a quick stir and add to the mixture in the wok. Stir from the bottom to ensure the sauce is well incorporated and cook a further 3-4 minutes (stirring pretty much the whole time) until the mixture is piping hot, and the sauce has thickened and is coating the mixture. Serve with extra soy sauce, slived green onions, and a hot sauce of your choice.
There are a lot of reasons to make shakshuka, an Israeli Tunisian dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce: It sounds like the name of a comic book hero. Or some kind of fierce, long-forgotten martial art. Or perhaps something that said comic book hero would yell as they practiced this elaborate martial art, mid-leap with their fist in the air.
Or you could make it because when I talked about making eggs in tomato sauce a while back a large handful of comments were along the lines of “oh, this sounds like shakshuka” and “I think you would love shakshuka” and “you really should make shakshuka” and you may have shrugged and forgotten about it until you finally had it at a café one day and whoa it turns out you really would like shakshuka!
Or you could make it because that café had the audacity to close for Passover last week, right when you had the fiercest shakshuka craving yet. I mean, couldn’t they just not serve it with pitas? Must I eventually be forced to make everything myself? Can’t I just have one thing that I let other people make perfectly for me, every time? No, I could not. Not if I wanted to eat what I really wanted to eat.
Thus, I suggest you make it because it turns out that it tastes really, really good from your own kitchen. Fantastically good. And not only is it easy to make, it’s budget-friendly, waistline-friendly and no-time-to-cook friendly. It could be a weekend brunch or a weekday dinner or lunch or a “I can’t believe we are being assaulted with a snowstorm in April!” consolation prize. It could be part of an Middle Eastern dinner party, replete with homemade salad, pitas and hummus or it could be a “my favorite takeout joint had the nerve to close for a holiday!” pity party. But I’ll warn you: me and my little buddy walked by the café today and breathed a sigh of relief that it had reopened so I could be freed from making my own lunch once again. And then I remembered how good the homemade shakshuka had been. And I kept on walking, kicking myself for always going and creating more work for myself. I never learn.
Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce] Adapted from Saveur
1/4 cup olive oil 5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick) 1 small yellow onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon paprika 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained Kosher salt, to taste 6 eggs 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley Warm pitas, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.