Oven Roasted Ratatouille is an extremely versatile dish, and is fantastic hot or cold. Served with crusty bread, it makes a great vegetarian main. It also freezes well, so keep a batch on hand for an emergency meal.
If I could cook everything in the oven, I think I probably would. I love the freedom that the oven gives me. I don’t stress about a dish catching on the bottom of the pan and burning, and I can carry on with other things whilst dinner is cooking. I can even put something in the oven and dash out to run errands without fear of burning the house down. Hence Oven Roasted Ratatouille.
There are many things to love about ratatouille. It is packed full of vegetables, so big tick on the nutrition front. It is delicious served hot or cold, and works well as either a side dish or the main event with crusty bread.
To turn ratatouille into a more substantial meal, layer it in lasagne, fold it through pasta, or serve it with poached or fried eggs. Load up a baked potato for lunch, or spread it over pizza base for a simple after work dinner. Ratatouille freezes well, so is great to keep on hand for a quick meal.
The key to this dish is roasting the zucchini, capsicum, onion and eggplant before adding the tomato passata. Roasting concentrates the flavours of the vegetables by removing some of the water, which will result in a thicker sauce. I like to roast my garlic at the same time as the vegetables, then squeeze the silky puree into the base of the pan when adding the tomato.
This dish will take a good hour and a half in the oven. Whilst this might seem like a long time, aside from the occasional stir nothing more is required of you, leaving you plenty of time to finish those other chores or put your feet up. Me, I’m off to the shops.
Make sure your roasting tray is large enough that the vegetables aren't overcrowded, as they will stew instead of roasting. I use my largest roasting pan for this dish.
- 2 red onions
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 yellow capsicum
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 large zucchini
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- ⅓ cup (80ml) olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 750ml tomato passata
- 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced)
- Chop the onion, capsicum, eggplant and zucchini into similar size pieces. I try to make them about 1.5 - 2cm in size.
- Place the chopped vegetables and garlic cloves in a large roasting tray.
- Drizzle over the olive oil, season with salt & pepper and toss everything together gently until all of the vegetables are coated in oil.
- Place the tray in the oven and roast the vegetables for approximately 40 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are starting to brown. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- When the vegetables are cooked, remove the tray from the oven.
- Decrease the oven temperature o 200C (180C fan forced).
- Squeeze the garlic cloves out into the bottom of the tray and discard the husks.
- Add the tomato passata, bay leaves and fresh thyme to the tray and stir to coat.
- Place the tray back into the oven, and cook for a further 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and noticeably thickened.
- Remove the tray from the oven and stir in the chopped basil.
- Serve hot or cold.