I tried the recipe for ratatouille Niçoise that was published on BBC Food and, while it was okay, it wasn't good enough. Perhaps that was related to some of the changes that I made to the published recipe, but I'm not convinced that explains all of the deficits from my expectations—and therein lies the rub, my expectations.
So, I came up with this version. (yummy)
wateriness of the original is addressed by concentrating the tomato sauce which, along with caramelising the onions, also adds sweetness naturally. It's not an exact science, amounts vary depend on how much is needed or available; this is just what I used.
- 4 medium white or yellow onions
- 400g aubergine
- 400g courgette
- 1kg vine tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1tsp anchovy paste
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs parsley
- olive oil
- Slice the onions. Cut the aubergine and courgette into 1cm cubes. Halve the peppers and then cut into 1cm strips. Core and cut the tomatoes into 1cm cubes. Peel the garlic and slice very thinly. Chop the parsley.
- Add oil and onions to a large cast iron pot and cook the onion until softened, golden, and reduced to about one third or one quarter of their original volume. This will sweeten and intensify their flavour. Add anchovy paste—no need for salt!—and thyme.
- Add oil, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, and parsley to a separate pan, season with ground black pepper, and cook until the tomatoes are softened. Then, with the lid removed, reduce to a medium paste; pourable but not runny.
- Separately fry the peppers, courgettes, and aubergines in olive oil until browned. Fry the aubergines last, because they absorb more oil.
- Add the tomato paste and fried vegetables to the pot. Cover the pot with baking paper and then its lid. Place in an oven at 160°C for about 50 minutes.