Sunday, 22 September 2013

No Oven Simple Ratatouille

Dish: No Oven Simple Ratatouille

Difficulty: Easy

Utensils Used: Wooden spoon

Cock Ups: NONE! Yes! Well... One, but it was on Morrison's, not me. Honest. (don't worry, I more than make up for it with dessert.

Recipe Book: Student Recipes

Cooking: The Boyfriend has been going on about me never cooking any more that often now that I decided to surprise him. So it's a double edition today - dinner and pudding.

This was my kind of recipe. Three paragraphs long with options to skip out one paragraph. (I didn't.) I should have googled 'Simple Vegetarian Recipes' sooner.

So, optional make your own tomato sauce. I'd done this before in Aubergine Parmigiana, which filled me with confidence that I could do it again. Plus, I always think made from scratch is much nicer than shop bought.

So, chopped onion lightly fried. New potatoes not coming to the boil in the background. (Incidentally, I've been moaning about things not coming to the boil for months, and only realised today that that hob ring only half works and when you turn it up to full heat it actually cuts out... so that's why my tagliatelle wouldn't boil.)

I bought this today because I haven't got a food processor and my garlic crusher, while beautiful, is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Seriously, it doesn't crush anything. I love that it's called 'Very Lazy' - that's me in the kitchen all over.

Look, I still haven't noticed the potatoes aren't boiling (I do in a minute) but I have added two tins of chopped tomatoes, ready to simmer for half an hour.

Meanwhile, I chopped the vegetables ready to go. My one dodgy piece for this meal - a carrot that was brown on the inside. It shows up kind of purple in that picture, but it was definitely brown. So that went in the recycle bin. And I'd only bought it today...

So the amount of carrot in my ratatouille is a bit pitiful, but never mind. I chopped the veg in big chunks. Largely because I'm lazy, but also to add texture.

Look! Potatoes on the right ring, simmering sauce that doesn't need much heat on the dodgy one. I love the vibrant pink of 'oh, shit, I should really get my potatoes boiling, like ten minutes ago.'

After the veg were fried for a while (the recipe says 'til soft' but because I was trying to cook pudding at the same time I left them for quite a long time) I added the tomato sauce. This was supposed to be left to simmer for a further ten minutes, but again, I was trying to cook pudding at the same time, so I stuck it on the lowest heat and just left it to do its thing.

When it was ready, I served with the cooked (yay) new potatoes and a sprinkling of feta cheese.

Washing Up Required: Bear in mind that this includes pudding. Overall, the whole meal was cleared away with one half size dishwasher wash.

Result: This was dead easy, though quite time consuming with all the simmering. Definitely one I'd stick on in the background when trying to do other stuff at the same time.

Taste Test: Boyfriend: I don't like new potatoes.

Me: They're just potatoes?

Boyfriend: I know, but they're all... new.

*five minutes later*

Boyfriend: Oh, I like new potatoes.

You see what I have to deal with?

We both enjoyed this - it was rich and tomatoey, healthy and the sprinkling of feta gave it a really nice zing.

Overall Verdict: A resounding success! Healthy, easy and tasty.

No Oven Simple Ratatouille

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