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A Super Healthy Veggie Boost: Ratatouille!

4 May 2021

Rich tomato & bell pepper sauce layered with sliced courgette, aubergine and tomatoes, brushed with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs and roasted in the oven until the veggies are rich and luscious and have soaked up all the juices. Looks amazing, tastes even better, and although it needs to roast for an hour, it’s hardly any work. In the need of a veggie boost? Then this is the dish to make!

Serve it with brown rice for a super healthy option, or otherwise whole wheat pasta, fresh crusty bread or gnocchi. All great!

A Super Healthy Veggie Boost: Ratatouille!

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Dinner, lunch, sides French
By Saffron Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes
  • Splash of water to rinse out the can
  • Pepper & Salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Small bunch Basil
  • Topping
  • 1 green courgette
  • 1 yellow courgette (optional, otherwise just 1 courgette is fine)
  • 1 long aubergine, the thinner and longer the better
  • 3-4 medium-large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Small bunch basil, roughly chopped plus extra for garnishing
  • Pepper & Salt

Instructions

The sauce (15 minutes)

1

Preheat the oven to 190°C and start by prepping the sauce ingredients.

2

Add a drop of olive oil to a heavy based pan which can also go in the oven (but you can also just transfer to an oven dish at a later stage).

3

Add the onions and sauté until translucent and fragrant, ± 3 minutes.

4

Add the garlic, rosemary and chili flakes (optional) and sauté until translucent and fragrant, ± 2 minutes.

5

Add the tomato paste, mix through well, coating the rest of the ingredients, ± 1 minute.

6

Add the bell peppers and carrots and sauté for ± 3 minutes.

7

Add the tomatoes and rinse the can with a drop of water, bring to a simmer.

8

Add the sugar and season with pepper and salt.

9

Add the basil and let bubble away for ± 10 minutes while you chop the rest of the vegetables.

10

Just before ready, taste and season to your liking.

The Topping

11

Thinly slice the vegetables (courgette, aubergines and tomatoes) in about 5 mm slices, making a separate pile of each.

12

To a small blender add the herb oil ingredients: Olive oil, garlic, thyme, basil, pepper and salt. Blitz it with a few pulses, it doesn't have to be too smooth.

13

When the sauce is ready (see notes) take it off the heat and start layering on the vegetables, working from the outside in.

14

Drizzle the herb oil over the top and spread it out with a brush if you like.

15

Cover with alumunium foil and place in the oven. After 40 minutes remove the foil and continue to bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.

16

To serve grate on some parmesan cheese and a few torn basil leaves. Enjoy!

Notes

Usually when making a tomato sauce I let it bubble away for at least 45 minutes to an hour. But the sauce will continue to cook in the oven, so it doesn't need that long to be ready to be placed in the oven.

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