Shakshuka alla Vodka

Shakshuka alla Vodka
Matt Taylor-Gross

Yet another gorgeous addition to Israeli cuisine brought over from the Sephardic Jews of North Africa, shakshuka is one of the easiest and most satisfying egg dishes in the world. A vibrant tomato sauce is cooked down until it’s thick enough to cradle and poach eggs to finish this one-skillet sensation that’s begging to be scooped up by tons of warm pita or toasted challah.

Naturally, I had to take something perfectly good and mash it up with something just as comforting! Say what you want about penne alla vodka, but I’m a big fan, and I’m absolutely obsessed with using a vodka sauce for this shakshuka. It all comes down to science and not my childlike palate. With most of the vodka cooked off, the trace amounts of alcohol in the sauce help amplify aromas and bring out flavors you otherwise wouldn’t experience. Of course, the addition of sour cream for richness is pretty nice, too. Throw in a few eggs, and you’re left with a dish that’s perfect for any brunch blowout or breakfast- for- dinner situation.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ÂĽ cup vodka
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 (14½- ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Âľ cup full-fat sour cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Warm pita or toasted challah, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the vodka, immediately followed by the tomato puree and diced tomatoes. Bring to a light simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, then season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, make six wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each well. Season each egg with a pinch of salt, then cover and cook until the whites are just set, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and garnish with the parsley. Serve with warm pita or toasted challah.

Excerpted from JEW-ISH: A COOKBOOK:Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch © 2021 by Jake Cohen.Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross. Reproducedby permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.  


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