French vegetable stew ratatouille

Serves 3–4

  • Olive oil and butter
  • 2 onions
  • 0.5 aubergines
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large sweet pepper
  • 1 small courgette
  • About 250 g pumpkin
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • About 200–250 g of crushed tomatoes
  • Chilli pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp light muscovado sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil Fresh oregano
Cut the ingredients into pieces of preferred size (slice the onion and garlic thinly but leave the cherry tomatoes whole – to keep the juice in). Heat some oil and butter in a heavy pan and add the onions. Cook over low heat for about 3–4 minutes, add the aubergine and garlic and cook for about the same amount of time. Then add the sweet pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Now it is time to add the crushed tomatoes and pumpkin. In a few minutes, add the cherry tomatoes and courgettes. Season the stew with sea salt, black pepper and chilli pepper. To balance the flavour, add some light muscovado (all stews that include tomato need a minimum amount of salt, as they have plenty of flavour). Finally, stir in the chopped fresh herbs. Serve the ratatouille with grilled fish or meat; it is excellent as pasta sauce or as a separate meal (with a slice of ciabatta, for instance).