Masterclass: ratatouille

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

"This recipe makes six entrée portions with enough left over to serve as a garnish to grilled lamb cutlets or roast leg of lamb. Ratatouille works best when made in a larger quantity, but this recipe also works well halved. It's best made a day ahead to allow the flavours to meld; any leftover will be delicious for another couple of days," says Damien.

  • 190 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 750 gm (3-4) onions, finely chopped
  • 750 gm (about 3) eggplant, wiped with wet paper towel, patted dry
  • 750 gm (5-6) zucchini
  • 400 gm (about 2) green capsicum
  • 400 gm (about 2) red capsicum
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 8 large basil leaves, torn, plus plenty more to serve
  • 6 eggs, at fridge temperature, shells pierced with an egg prick or a pin (so they don’t crack)
  •  
  • Tomato sauce
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 kg Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
01   For tomato sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan until quite hot, add garlic, stir to coat, then reduce heat to low and cook garlic until softened but without colouring (3-4 minutes). Add tomatoes and herbs and season to taste, cook gently to reduce some of the liquid (20 minutes), then cover and cook gently until it’s thickened slightly but tiny pieces of tomato are still evident (18-20 minutes).
02   Heat half the oil in a wide, shallow 4- or 5-litre casserole until hot but not smoking, add onion and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes without stirring, then sauté gently, stirring occasionally to prevent onions from catching, until the onion has released most of its juices (15-20 minutes). Cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the onion looks like a shiny jam (15-20 minutes).
03   Cut eggplant into 1cm dice.
04   Heat remaining oil in a separate pan until hot but not smoking, add eggplant and fry, stirring, until lightly browned (6-8 minutes). Ensure the eggplant dice retain their firmness; it’s better to err on the side of less colour and a firmer texture. Cut the zucchini into 1cm dice and add it and the eggplant to the onion.
05   Trim tops and bottom tips off the capsicum and quarter capsicum lengthways, remove the membrane and seeds, then cut capsicum into 5mm strips and add to the other vegetables.
06   Add the tomato sauce and ground coriander and return to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Taste for seasoning, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but retain some firmness (10-15 minutes).
07   Stir in half the basil and adjust the seasoning to taste.
08   Lower eggs into a large saucepan of boiling water, return to the boil, then boil for 6 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water to arrest cooking. Shell eggs under cold running water or dipping them in a bowl of cold water as you go; set aside in an egg carton lined with plastic wrap so they retain their shape while you peel the rest. Halve, season and serve on ratatouille with extra basil. (If the ratatouille has been in the fridge, bring it to room temperature before you serve it.)

Topics:

MASTERCLASS, CAPSICUM, EGGPLANT, HEALTHY, ZUCCHINI, EGGS, TOMATOES, DAMIEN PIGNOLET, FRENCH

Recipe:

DAMIEN PIGNOLET

Photography:

BEN HANSEN

Styling:

RHIANNE CONTRERAS

FEATURED IN

Mar 2017

Mar 2017

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