We lived on this when we had no money which is not a bad thing. It’s healthy, convenient, tastes delicious, lasts for days in the fridge and costs very little to make. And it’s so versatile: warm and toss it through pasta; or serve it in the classic French way as a side dish with grilled or baked fish or grilled lamb chops. It’s a really good filling for a toasted baguette too.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 aubergine, cut into cubes
1 courgette, cut into slices
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped finely
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or Herbes de Provence
400g tinned tomatoes with juice
Salt and black pepper
1. Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion gently until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add the rest of the olive oil, red pepper and aubergine and fry over medium heat until coloured. Add the courgette and garlic, stir and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir from time to time to make sure it doesn’t stick. Add the dried herbs and cook for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and the juice (passata) from the tin. Season with salt and pepper to taste – remember you can add more at the end, so don’t be too generous.
3. Cook the ratatouille for 20 minutes, stirring half way through. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
If you keep ratatouille in a covered bowl in the fridge, it lasts for up to 4 days. Reheat and eat with toasted bread or use it as a filling for an omelette.
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