Shakshuka with Acini di Pepe and Merguez Sausage

When I visited the Turkish store yesterday, I was looking for Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous). Instead, the shop owner gave me a package of tiny pearl-shaped pasta called acini di pepe. The shopkeeper convinced me that it was just the same, and that this was what his family used when they couldn’t find pearl couscous. That they were pretty much interchangeable. I was sceptical, but decided to trust him - and it turns out he’s pretty much right. They are very, very similar.

The reason I was looking for pearl couscous, is because I had some merguez sausage and wanted to make this recipe from OhMyFoodness. Glad I did :)

Shakshuka with Merguez Sausage

Ingredients (serves 2):
100g acini di pepe or Israeli (pearl) couscous
400g chopped tomatoes
1 purple onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ras el hanout spices
merguez sausage for 2
handful flat-leafed parsley
2 eggs

1. Boil the acini di pepe or couscous according to the instructions on the package - 10 or so minutes.

2. Fruit the chopped onion in olive oil until glazed, then add the garlic and fruit a few minutes more.

3. Add the ras el hanout spices, mix, and then add the chopped tomatoes and stir.

4. In the meantime, prepare the merguez sausage in a different pan.

5. When the acini di pepe or couscous is ready, add it to the tomato mixture and mix. Make 2 indentations in the mixture, and crack the eggs in them. Cover with a lid and keep over very low heat for another 6-8 minutes.

6. Divide over two plates, place the merguez sausage on top, garnish with the fresh parsley and serve.

Shakshuka with Acini di Pepe and Merguez Sausage


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