Wing-it Ratatouille

I rarely follow recipes I find online, so you have no reason to follow this.

However, if you’re a stickler for following a guide, then mine isn’t a bad one to try.

This is a very simple and delicious take on one of the Mediterranean’s finest meals; I speak of course of ratatouille. Its ingredients are simple, and its pronunciation has baffled Americans for years, but you need not quake in fear at the sight of this meal which was so good, Pixar gave it its own film.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (Or choose your own ingredients. That’s fine. Don’t trust me. Jerkbag.)

5 Ripe tomatoes/ 20 Cherry tomatoes
2 Large Peppers (Colour irrelevant but orange or yellow are best for vibrance!)
1 Medium white onion
1 Aubergine
1 Courgette
1 Clove of Garlic
Basil
Olive Oil

Of course, the quantities you use will affect how many helpings you get. The veggies above made me three meals, so just add more if you’re making it for your whole flat or family!

EQUIPMENT

Oven, heated to 180 degrees
Sharp knife
Chopping board
Ovenproof cooking vessel (glass, ceramic or metal, I don’t discriminate)

METHOD

Very little in this. It’s so easy.

Start by chopping the aubergine(s) down lengthways. Once in two long pieces, chop both of those lengthways too. Then chop the long, slim sticks into small cubes/trapezoids/rhombuses and chuck them in a glass dish or roasting tin. Oh yeah, you’re gonna need a bloody big dish or tin.

Do the same thing to the courgettes too – you don’t want your aubergines feeling left out. In fact, 76% of failed aubergine dishes are caused by depressed aubergine.* Stop the hate.

Peppers. I seriously hate chopping peppers. Is there a right way to do it? Either cut a circle around the core at the top and get rid of the seeds or chop the top clean off and make long strips. I’m too busy to tell you how to cut your peppers. You should be old enough to figure that out for yourself.

Grab your bag of cherry tomatoes and cut a slit into them. Every last one. Genocide them. This makes the lovely tomato juice ooze out when it’s roasting, giving the base flavour of the entire meal, and its distinctive reddish colour. If you went for the option of ‘proper’ tomatoes, I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

Ah fine, just chop them into quarters, or if you want more manageable tomato chunks, go for eighths.

Try your best to chop the onion, but don’t worry about it if you can’t handle its sulphuric sting. I gave up on chopping it small. Instead, I peeled it, cut the stalk off and cut slices through the whole thing. Then I poked out the cool little rings and circles I had created, and added those to the dish too.

You should have added everything to the dish, by the way. I know this is a recipe, but I’m not here to hold your hand through everything. Jeez.

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The garlic is probably the trickiest thing in the meal since it involves SO much peeling. You WILL get garlic skin stuck on your fingers. You WILL get frustrated with the garlic. To be honest, the garlic isn’t that necessary, so don’t worry if you don’t have any. Once you’ve got all the little garlic segments out of the skin, proceed to mess them the f*** up. Seriously, squash those little garlicy gits for making you take so long. Sprinkle the devastated garlic all around the dish, which is probably really full by now.

Tear up some Basil if you’re using fresh leaves and chuck it in. If you have dry Basil in a jar:

A) I feel bad for you
2) Sprinkle it everywhere as well
iii) Do you know how to make lists?

All that is left to do now is (in the words of Jamie Oliver) BOSH some Olive oil on it, mix it up with your hands (Germophobes, use a spoon!) and perform a secondary BOSH when you put the dish in the oven.

Roast it for around 35 minutes, or until your house smells like Mediterranean sun-baked perfection.

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And you’re done! If it doesn’t look like this, I’m really sorry, but you messed up big time. It needs to be in the same bowl too, otherwise it’s pretty much inedible.*

It’s quite surprising how well nature does to create delicious flavours all on its own. Some recipes for Ratatouille overcomplicate everything by making you fry this, bake that, add sugar, vinegar and all sorts of other stuff. All you need is a bit of olive oil, maybe some salt if you want, and some Basil!

Serve it straight away and eat while it’s hot. It goes great with bread, but as I say, it’s fantastic on its own as well!

 

I hope you enjoyed my immense sarcasm and eventually, if you stuck with the recipe, the meal.
And thanks for winging it with me!

* Not verified nutritional information

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