It is humorous the first dish picked was Ratatouille. When Tony and I were dating, (I believe this dates back to the college years, or maybe even high school!), my little sister, Justine was obsessed with the animated movie, Ratatouille. Every time I babysat her when she was younger Ratatouille was definitely watched.
One night, Tony had joined us and asked Justine what movie she wanted to watch. OF COURSE she said Ratatouille. We popped it in and the French music introduction hummed from the TV screen. Thinking back, I think Tony was as taken with the movie as my 8 year old sister! He didn’t take his eyes off the screen. There were even times he’d ask my sister questions about characters and what was going to happen next.
When we decided we were going to start our cultural cooking night, we couldn’t agree on anything! We had a specific starting date in mind – Monday nights, because who likes Mondays? – it gave us something to look forward to after a vicious Monday got the best of us.
On Monday morning, I was surfing the web, trying to find a recipe, and I was on the way out the door to get groceries, and I came across the Ratatouille recipe. I laughed and sent it to Tony to get his thoughts. Of course he sent me back comments of enthusiasm. I knew we had a winner!
You can find more ‘around the world’ recipes here. Believe me – there are good ones!
Gather the following ingredients –
- 50g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
courgettes, chunkily sliced( No idea what these are? I used three zucchini)
- 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, very roughly chopped
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- zest 1 lemon
When the cooking commenced, Tony started the movie Ratatouille that he had recorded the previous night – not even knowing we were going to be cooking it!! The familiar French music started playing, and our night was off to a beautiful start! We chopped, Tony stuff a orange pepper slice in my mouth, (I am a wuss about anything spicy or new), and Ace stole all the wonderful smells wafting from the counters.
- Heat oven to
190C/170C fan/gas 5(We did some investigating – this is about 375 degrees in a conventional oven). In a small bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tbsp of the oil and a good sprinkling of seasoning. Set aside.
- Put the courgettes, peppers, onion, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, tomato purée, vinegar and the remaining olive oil in a bowl. Season well and toss together. Tip the vegetables into a roasting tin and spread out in a single layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove the foil. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake for another 10 mins or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the lemon zest.
Our Ratatouille is complete & ready for it’s close up!
Our lazy puppy was over our cooking if we weren’t going to share.