Ratatouille is a traditional French recipe that comes from the Provence region, the former county of Nice. This Mediterranean vegetable-based dish is an excellent option for the vegan diet but, in addition, it can be made to accompany meat or fish as a garnish, and provide more variety and color to the menus we make for ourselves or our family.
This classic French ratatouille is a baked elaboration that has become internationally recognised due to the cartoon film with the same name. This is not a complaint since, in its day, it popularised the dish among the little ones who we know that, with some exceptions, don’t always like vegetables. In fact, since we all should include more vegetables in our diet, we have opted for this recipe whose result is delicious.
However, if we made the Provencal ratatouille in a traditional way, we would have to cook each of the vegetables separately, slowly, and then finish all together in a common cooking also over low heat. And although the result would be more faithful to the original recipe, it would also take us more time to prepare. For that reason, today we bring you a simpler, as well as healthy, method of making ratatouille without investing too much time.
Ingredients for the elaboration of ratatouille
200g of crushed tomato
3 pear tomatoes
1 minced garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried oregano
Ratatouille making process
Start by preparing the tomato sauce. To do this, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a saucepan. When it is hot add the minced garlic and, when it is golden brown, half of the dried herbs that we have mentioned in the ingredients list. You can also change them for favourite ones. Once the oil is flavoured add the crushed tomato. Let it cook over low heat to be reduced.
Then wash well the vegetables with water and dry them with a kitchen towel. Thinly slice the aubergine, pear tomato, onion and courgette. Since there are a lot of vegetables and cutting the slices so thinly is not always easy, you can choose to use a mandolin to speed up the process.
If you don’t particularly like the bitter touch of the aubergine, you can always sprinkle salt and leave it on a colander to “sweat” for about 30 minutes. This will be enough time for the tomato sauce to cook.
Preheat the oven to 180º with heat on both sides. Next, put the tomato sauce in a oven-safe container, then start creatively arranging the vegetables if you have time. You can always choose to alternate between vegetables, or it is a task that you can ask a child to be entertain with, while helping you in the kitchen.
To finish, add extra virgin olive oil on top, season the vegetables to taste, add ground pepper and the rest of the spices that have been left over. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. After one hour of cooking, remove the paper and let it bake for approximately half an hour more, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Once done, it can be served alongside other meat or fish dishes. In addition, the leftover can hold in the fridge for up to 3 days and it is worth mentioning that, after time, the flavours will be more settled.