Double Duty Ratatouille
See this child? Cute, huh? I agree. By day he is a delightful bundle of coos and gurgles, face splitting grins and infectious belly laughs. He loves me so completely that when I pick him up he grabs my face with both tiny hands and tries to eat my nose. He is – and please God, will always be – a mama’s boy. By day, that is. By night all of his affection for me is forgotten and he thinks nothing of torturing me for hours at a time – screaming furiously when I don’t do his bidding. Like, getting him a damn bottle and make it snappy! Julian is six moths and we can’t take anymore: we’re sleep training. Good times.
So, when my friend Heidi shot me this recipe for ratatouille and pointed out that it was really two meals in one (either a main or a substantial side for one meal and then whizzed in the blender to become a pasta sauce on night two) I was game. We had it tonight with the lovely organic country-style French sausages from Rowe farms and brown rice.
Double Duty Ratatouille
1 28 ounce can of canned plum tomatoes
1 head of cauliflower cleaned and cut into small florets
1 onion – white or Spanish – diced
1 yellow pepper diced
1 red pepper diced
2 zucchini cut in half length-wise and chopped into half moons
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bay lear
3 sprigs of thyme
handful of chopped basil
3 cloves garlic minced
parsley for garnish if you have it
Put the tin full of tomatoes and their juice in a pot and simmer to break down the tomatoes while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
Toss the cauliflower in a small glug of olive oil in a roasting pan and pop in a 400 degree oven until soft and slightly brown. It will take about 20 minutes but start checking at 15. It will smell fantastic!
In another pan, sautee onions and peppers until they’re all fairly soft.
Remove vegetables from the pan and put aside in a bowl.
Now sautee the zucchini. The idea is to keep the flavours distinct not stew-y. Once they’re soft add the cauliflower, onions and peppers back to the pan. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
If you haven’t switched from canned tomato paste to these fantastic toothpaste-style packages, you must! You waste so much less. Add all the vegetables to the tomatoes along with the bay leaf, sugar, thyme and basil and cook for 15 minutes. Add garlic just a couple of minutes before serving.
The kids were really hungry for dinner and that can cut both ways when introducing something new.
Tonight it worked in my favour and Esme deemed this dish “very yummy.” I picked out a few pieces of zucchini for Julian to suck on while we ate. Now let’s pray to the baby sleep Gods for tonight.
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