Double Duty Ratatouille - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Double Duty Ratatouille

See this child? Cute, huh? I agree. By day he is a delight­ful bun­dle of coos and gur­gles, face split­ting grins and infec­tious belly laughs. He loves me so com­pletely that when I pick him up he grabs my face with both tiny hands and tries to eat my nose. He is — and please God, will always be — a mama's boy. By day, that is. By night all of his affec­tion for me is for­got­ten and he thinks noth­ing of tor­tur­ing me for hours at a time —  scream­ing furi­ously when I don't do his bid­ding. Like, get­ting him a damn bot­tle and make it snappy! Julian is six moths and we can't take any­more: we're sleep train­ing. Good times.

So, when my friend Heidi shot me this recipe for rata­touille and pointed out that it was really two meals in one (either a main or a sub­stan­tial side for one meal and then whizzed in the blender to become a pasta sauce on night two) I was game. We had it tonight with the lovely organic country-style French sausages from Rowe farms and brown rice.

Dou­ble Duty Ratatouille

1 28 ounce can of canned plum toma­toes
1 head of cau­li­flower cleaned and cut into small flo­rets
1 onion — white or Span­ish — diced
1 yel­low pep­per diced
1 red pep­per diced
2 zuc­chini cut in half length-wise and chopped into half moons
1 table­spoon tomato paste
1/2 tea­spoon sugar
1 bay lear
3 sprigs of thyme
hand­ful of chopped basil
3 cloves gar­lic minced
pars­ley for gar­nish if you have it

Method

Put the tin full of toma­toes and their juice in a pot and sim­mer to break down the toma­toes while you're prepar­ing the rest of the meal.

Toss the cau­li­flower in a small glug of olive oil in a roast­ing pan and pop in a 400 degree oven until soft and slightly brown. It will take about 20 min­utes but  start check­ing at 15. It will smell fan­tas­tic!

In another pan, sautee onions and pep­pers until they're all fairly soft.

Remove veg­eta­bles from the pan and put aside in a bowl.

Now sautee the zuc­chini. The idea is to keep the flavours dis­tinct not stew-y. Once they're soft add the cau­li­flower, onions and pep­pers back to the pan. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 min­utes.

If you haven't switched from canned tomato paste to these fan­tas­tic toothpaste-style pack­ages, you must! You waste so much less. Add all the veg­eta­bles to the toma­toes along with the bay leaf, sugar, thyme and basil and cook for 15 min­utes. Add gar­lic just a cou­ple of min­utes before serv­ing.

The kids were really hun­gry for din­ner and that can cut both ways when intro­duc­ing some­thing new.

Tonight it worked in my favour and Esme deemed this dish "very yummy." I picked out a few pieces of zuc­chini for Julian to suck on while we ate. Now let's pray to the baby sleep Gods for tonight.

  

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