Basic Ratatouille

This is one of my staple meals; I adore ratatouille. It goes so well with so much, for example:

  • Ratatouille with wholemeal spaghetti or pasta shapes
  • Ratatouille with pieces of chicken stirred in and a sweet potato jacket
  • Ratatouille with canned fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel…) stirred in
  • Ratatouille and bread
  • Ratatouille on toast with some mozzarella melted on top
  • Ratatouille in a wholemeal tortilla or pita bread with hummus
  • Ratatouille and rice/quinoa
  • Poached eggs with ratatouille
  • Use your ratatouille to make spicy baked eggs (see my other recipes)
  • Mix your ratatouille with cous cous and some pomegranate seeds

That’s to name just a few. This versatile French dish can make for a delicious lunch, tea, side dish or even breakfast (with some scrambled or poached eggs perhaps?). The quantity that this recipe makes will give you at least three meals worth where the ratatouille is the main event, and more when its used as a side dish, making it a fairly cheap and reliable meal option for students- especially the vegetarians/vegans among you. It’s also ridiculously simple.

Ingredients

  • 2 large courgettes
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 bell peppers, any colour
  • 2 red or white onions (the white ones tend to be slightly cheaper- very slightly, we’re talking around 10p per onion)
  • 1 large handful of baby plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2tsp dried herbs de Provence or Italian herbs (whatever you have, the latter is less traditional but I’ve found it to be just as delicious)
  • 1/2-1tsp dried chilli flakes (if you like it hot, alternatively leave this out and then tweak the heat rating depending on what dish your leftover ratatouille becomes)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/2-1 can chopped tomatoes (depending on the consistency you want; the cans of tomatoes I use are 400g.)
  • 1-2tsp oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200*c
  • Chop all your veg up and place it in an oven dish, along with all the herbs, the oil, and whole garlic cloves (and spices, if desired). I tend to prefer larger chunks, but make sure the aubergine in particular isn’t too thick; when aubergine doesn’t cook properly it tends to have a spongy, unpleasant texture and makes a squeaky noise when you chew it. Stir the vegetables until evenly coated in the small amount of oil and the herbs.
  • Allow the vegetables to roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, before removing from the oven and stirring in the chopped tomatoes. I recommend adding half a can at first and seeing how the consistency appeals to you; you can always opt to add the other half following this.
  • Place the ratatouille back in the oven for the remaining 15-20 minutes until heated through and the vegetables are tender.
  • Serve in any of the previously mentioned ways, or you could even come up with your own dishes- let me know what you think of in the comments!
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