Ratatouille: The Perfect Base for so Much More!

Black Bean Chilli
Black Bean Chilli with Ratatouille

How do you feel about cooking after a run or the gym? Does it all seem too much? Do you end up running past the local kebab shop or pizza joint for a bite?

Here’s a possible solution – the humble ratatouille – with its tomatoes and onions and peppers and other good stuff – while brilliant on its own, it provides a humble foundation for much much more.

And this is how it goes.

 

Ratatouille

019

 

A generous splash of oil

1 large white onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely or minced

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

3 or 4 medium carrots, roughly chopped

2 large or 3 medium courgettes, roughly chopped

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped

Dried oregano, a few pinches

Tomato paste, 2 tbsp

A few pinches of powdered vege stock

A pinch of sugar (tomatoes can sometimes taste a little sharp, this mellows the flavour)

A few pinches of salt and pepper

  • Put a heavy bottomed large pot on a medium heat and add the oil.
  • Let the oil heat a little and then throw in the onions. Stir for a few minutes until almost translucent. Add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so. Add the oregno, .
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, carrots, courgettes, peppers, a pinch of sugar and a few pinches of dried vege stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a low heat.
  • Let cook for 20 mins or so – you want the veg cooked but not overly so. Add a little salt to flavour.

 

Variations

Meal 1 – Ratatouille, small potatoes and vege sausages

Ratatouille

 

Ratatouille

Small potatoes

Vege sausages – chopped

  • Cook the potatoes in a saucepan and drain.
  • Take a generous serve of ratatouille and throw in the vege sausages into a saucepan and heat through.
  • Serve

 

Meal 2 – Black bean chilli with corn chips and sour cream 

And this is what was left!
And this is what was left!

 

Ratatouille

Tin of black turtle beans

Hot sauce to taste

  • Take a generous portion of ratatouille. Thrown in the black turtle beans, add some hot sauce to taste and heat through.
  • Serve with corn chips and sour cream. Or, for a healthier option, have it with toasted tortillas or flat bread rather than the cornchips.

 

Meal 3 – Huevos Rancheros Sophie Style – Or – Meal 2 with an egg

Hueros Ranchos

For you aficionados out there, give this a try before you judge.

 

Ratatouille

Tin of black turtle beans, drained and washed

Hot sauce to taste

1 medium egg

  • Put a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium. Throw in the ratatouille, black turtle beans and hot sauce to taste. Once heated, lower the heat and put the contents of an egg in the middle and let cook until done.
  • Serve with corn chips and sour cream. Or, for a healthier option, have it with toasted tortillas or flat bread rather than the cornchips.

 

Meal 4 – Pasta with ratatouille and vege sausages

Ratatouille with pasta

 

Ratatouille

Vege sausages, chopped

Pasta

Salt

Parmesan

  • Cook a serve of pasta in boiling water with a good pinch or two of salt until al dente. Drain
  • In a separate saucepan, heat up a good serve of ratatouille and throw in the sausages. Heat through.
  • Put pasta in a large bowl and stir in the ratatouille/sausages.
  • Serve with a sprinkle or two of parmesan.

This did me pretty well for a week.

I’d love to hear more suggestions on variation what other simple dishes provide a brilliant base for varied meals!

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