When it come to tomato sauce, Marcella Hazan's will always be my first, true love. But I've lately started seeing another tomato sauce on the side. My new one comes from José Andrés's quirky new vegetarian cookbook, Vegetables Unleashed. Andrés's sauce is not as buttery or suave or simple to make as Hazan's, but I love its intensity and the umami notes it develops from the patient frying of the skinned tomatoes. When preparing summer vegetables like green beans and eggplants, this is the dance partner you want. But don't wait for summer. Make it this weekend and serve it over pasta, and summer will seem like it's already here.
In much of the Middle East, nothing says breakfast like shakshuka, the richly flavored and colorful egg dish on this week's menu. There's no single way to make shakshuka, though as with Texas chili, many folks feel passionately otherwise. Still, if there's one thing that makes shakshuka shakshuka it's the poaching of eggs in a hearty sauce of tomatoes and peppers – that and the shear pleasure of saying that goofy word. Shakshuka. Shakshuka. Shakshuka.
While generally served for breakfast, shakshuka also makes a great light dinner and a knockout brunch when guests are coming. Make the sauce a day ahead, and 15 minutes before the brunch bell, just turn up the heat and crack in the eggs.