Sunday, 24 February 2013

Our Ratatouille

When the kids were small I used to make this.  They loved it, apparently!  I had the ingredients to hand last night....needed using up to be honest, so we had this with gnocchi.  Very yum.  All meat-free.

I don't really do exact  Takes about half an hour start to finish and we end up with about 4 cereal bowls full.


Aubergine - 2
Courgettes - 2 large
Onions - 2 large
Peppers - 2 ..roasted in oven while you are sauteeing veg - I use the red pointy ones..cheaper.
Mushrooms..I use normal shrooms -  200g punnet  We like them!!
Garlic..chopped - 2 cloves
Fennel Seeds..chopped - teaspoon
Dried Parsley, Basil - teaspoon each
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Tetra pack of passata
Squirt of tomato puree
Bit of water to loosen if too stiff
Olive oil for sauteeing the veg
Tsp sugar
Knob of marg/butter


Put the peppers in the oven so the skins blacken a bit.  Should take about 15/20 mins.
Chop the veg up.  I have them all roughly the same size.
Fry up the aubergine, slowly in the oil.  It soaks oil up really quickly, so add water if it gets dry.
Add the chopped fennel seeds.  These really make a difference.
Add onions, then chopped garlic.  Sautee for a few minutes to soften.  Don't let it colour
Add courgettes and mushrooms.  I like the courgettes to have a bit of a bite in the finished dish.
Add the dried herbs, salt and pepper.  Stir for a few minutes.
Add the passata and a bit of water if it's too thick.  I don't like my ratatouille too watery.
Add the tomato puree and stir in, with the sugar.  Sometimes,  tomato can be a bit tart, so that's why we add sugar...but you don't have to.
Let it simmer for 10/15 minutes.
Meanwhile....take the peppers out of the oven .  The skins should be blackened.  Pop them on a chopping board and the skins should come off easily.  They will, obviously, be hot, so use a serrated knife and fork to get the skins off and scrape out the seeds.  You don't want these in your finished dish.   I know people say stick them in a pastic bag or cover with clingfilm so they steam up..but I think it's too much of a fiddle and the skins come off pretty easily my way...doing a Frank Sinatra here!  lol
Chop up the peppers roughly and add to the stew.  (I know it's a faff, but the peppers taste differently done this way.  Creamier.   None of the burpy repeats, if you get my meaning, that you get with raw or braised?  Raw pepper gives me that aftertaste!  Yuk. )
Add a knob of butter or gives it a bit of a creaminess.
Adjust your seasoning and serve.
Don't have it boiling hot.  Let it cool a tad.  Tastes better then.
We had ours on gnocchi with chopped up mozzarella cheese.
I had some today with a 'buttered' mini baguette and some chunks of mozzarella plonked in the stew.  (we had mozz that needed using up)

I suppose you could blend the stew, if you have any 'Bits of veg in my food' haters and use it as a sauce.  lol   I should think that you'd be able to freeze it.  Put  a freezer bag inside a plastic container.  Pour in the Ratatouille and seal.  Keep in the container.  Put them in the freezer.  When frozen you can take the bag out of the box and the bag containing the stew will stack up nicely in the freezer and you can use the box again.  That way you get to store frozen stuff of the same size in nice portions.   Easier to keep in the freezer in an ordered way.  I hate it when you open the freezer door and stuff comes shooting out because everything is frozen in odd shapes.

Oh my God....I'm getting organised!  lol...not enough to post a piccie, though.  You all know what a bowl of ratatouille looks like, don't you?

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