Not a week passes without me making this 1 delicious pasta sauce. It’s a great way to pack in loads of lovely rainbow vegetables and so versatile that it seems to re-invent and adapt into different combinations time and time again.
It’s really not very different from a ratatouille, except that there are no rules: you make a basic tomato, onion, garlic base and add as many complimenting, rainbow vegetables that you can get hold of. I also add a tin of anchovies which melt into the sauce adding a rich saltiness, which gives a reassuring punch of tasty.
It’s really worth making a large batch, as it freezes well and keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it’s so handy to come home to after a busy day. And if you grow your own vegetables, its a great way to use up the summer glut of courgettes and tomatoes. It makes ordinary dishes colourful and interesting and the combinations seem endless, below is a list of some of the ways I use it.
- Serve on spaghetti or any pasta of choice.
- Bruschetta topping on toasts or pitta bread.
- Parmigiana with layers of courgette and aubergine topped with mozzarella.
- Stuffed inside a whole fish and baked in foil.
- With a bowl of brown rice or a baked potato and topped with creme fraiche and chilli flakes.
- Stuffed into peppers and topped with grilled cheese.
- Piled onto portobello mushrooms and topped with parmesan.
- Use as a base for a slow cooked chicken casserole with added stock and black olives.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, cut into halves and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced – 1 kept separate
- 2 large red peppers de-seeded and sliced (feel free to add other coloured peppers)
- 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice, plus juices
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 3 sprigs of thyme, plus 1tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 3 courgettes (a mix of yellow and green is good if possible), not too thinly sliced
- 1 large or 2 smaller aubergines, cut into quarters lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (or a tin of organic crushed tomatoes)
- 1 small tin of anchovies.
- Freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes.
- A generous handful of freshly chopped parsley and basil leaves.
- A handful of natural black kalamata olives.
- i a large heavy based pan, sauté the onions and garlic then add the peppers, aubergines, courgettes, - allow to soften.
- Then add the tomatoes, balsamic, finely chopped anchovies, seasoning and finally the parsley and basil.
- Allow to cook gently for 25 mins or so until the vegetable are soften but not too mushy.