Impending motherhood has got me thinking about my mum… I guess I never quite thought I would turn out like her… but it turns out we are similar in at least one respect… we both love vegetables! As a child I always thought it kind of strange that she would love them, but I (almost) never complained… So I guess she did me a favour. Brought me up healthy.
Bringing up the family on a tight budget, Mum didn’t have the luxury of buying new and exotic ingredients, so we weren’t exposed to a huge range of them… certainly I hated asparagus, as the only type I tried was in a tin. Now I can’t get enough of it (fresh)!
Another recently discovered favourite is eggplant. If eggplant is in it, so am I!
This recipe is one I’ve been making for years. It’s packed full of goodness, and a little bit of naughtiness. Although the original asks for Italian sausage, I couldn’t find it in our local shops, so have gone for chorizo, which is lovely. And as it turns out, chorizo might actually be the original sausage meant for this dish… when it goes by its other name, Pisto Manchengo. I love the idea of serving it with poached or boiled eggs, but that will have to be for another time.
However it comes, this is good (hearty, satisfying, comfort food)! Love the deep flavours, the tomato, thyme and eggplant, which are only improved by the addition of spicy sausage. Spoon some over couscous and let the grains soak up that rich tomato sauce.
Leftovers are perfect for freezing, too… which will come in handy for us when baby arrives.
Ratatouille with Chorizo Recipe
1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
200g zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (400-500g)
1/2 red capsicum, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 green capsicum, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 yellow capsicum, cut into 1/2-inch dice
400g can diced tomatoes (I use 2 cans, as I like it saucy)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 pound chorizo, sliced thickly
4 sprigs of thyme (2 teaspoons of dried)
1 sprig of rosemary (1/2 teaspoon of dried)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a large oven-proof pan over medium-high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and reduce heat to low.
While the onions and garlic are cooking over low heat, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in another large skillet over high heat. As soon as the pan gets hot, add enough zucchini cubes to form a layer on the bottom of the pan. Cook over high heat, stirring, until zucchini is lightly browned on all sides. Remove zucchini cubes, and add them to pan with the onions.
Repeat process until all of the zucchini cubes have been cooked. Continue with capsicums, then the eggplant cubes, adding the browned vegetables to the onion pan as soon as they are cooked. Add more olive oil as needed.
Add the tomatoes (and their juice) to your large oven-proof pan with the rest of the vegetables, along with salt, black pepper, red pepper, thyme, rosemary and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Nestle the slices of sausage amongst the vegetables.
Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through.