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  • West End Centre

Il gruppo di cucina diventa italiano! Cooking group goes Italian!!

What an amazing way to start the cooking season. We made Italian Shakshuka or popularly known as Eggs in purgatory.

Before we started we watched a YouTube video on knife skills, we use knives every day but are we using them safely and using the correct knife for the job!  Think we can say most of us learnt a lot from this.

Imagine a meal that requires only a handful of ingredients and is ideal to serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner………. well, that’s a Shakshuka!!!

Eggs in purgatory (or Uova All’inferno or Uova in Purgatorio) is the Italian version of Shakshuka. A hearty, herb-scented, spicy, and robust tomato sauce with poached eggs.

Just imagine the soft-cooked eggs simmered in slightly fiery tomato sauce loaded with herbs and garlic. It’s warming and comforting and filling all at the same time.

 We suspect the ‘purgatory’ portion of the name describes the fiery (or somewhat spicy) taste of the tomato sauce.

This was something no-one had heard of before so was a good recipe for everyone to have a go with and we always enjoy trying new foods.

This is what the cooking group told us about the session:

Jyoti: I always cook from scratch, and this is a good recipe. My best spice is cumin and I like it in the recipe. I enjoyed showing everyone how to cook the rice in a different way. I will be making mine without the eggs because I am vegetarian.
Susan: I enjoy the fact that we all made this together. I like being involved in the whole process and the food turned out better than I thought. It was nice and tasty, especially with the rice.
Hugh B: I felt really supported by the group today. I enjoyed the company and making new friends.
Maureen: I learnt two new skills today,  basic knife skills and fastest way to ground Cumin seeds. I have been using my cumin seeds the wrong way but this is such a relief to be able to use some of my spices in the right away.

Considering joining our group? Give us a ring on 07592003595 or call into the centre to book your place. 

This is the recipe we used for the Shakshuka, have a go and let us know how it goes! 

Italian Shakshuka

  • ·        3 tbsp olive oil

  • ·        2 large onions, thinly sliced

  • ·        4 peppers, preferably mixed colours, cut into long slices

  • ·        4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • ·        ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • ·        ½ tsp cayenne pepper

  • ·        1 tbsp tomato or red pepper purée

  • ·        2 x 400g tins tomatoes

  • ·        1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

  • ·        1 small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped

  • ·        8 eggs

  • ·        salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preparation Method:

  • ·        Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan. Add the onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat until just softened.

  • ·        Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin and the cayenne pepper.

  • ·        Stir in the tomato or red pepper purée and cook for a couple more minutes until the paste starts to separate. Add the tomatoes with a splash of water.

  • ·        Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until reduced a little. Taste after 5 minutes and add a little sugar if you think the tomatoes need it. Keep an eye on the texture – you don’t want it runny, but it mustn’t get too dry, either. Add another splash of water if necessary. When the sauce is reduced, stir in the herbs.

  • ·        Make 8 small wells in the sauce. Break an egg into a cup and drop carefully into a well, repeat with the remaining eggs. Cover and cook for a 5–8 more minutes until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny.

  • ·        Serve with yoghurt or rice on the side.

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