Pesto Ratatouille Traybake

This recipe came about from me deciding to have a bit of a fridge clear a few evenings ago, when I was trying to decide how best to use up the remaining stragglers that had been siting in the vegetable drawer for the past week. Aubergines are always a classic example of this for me, as I buy them almost every week without fail; then either forget, or simply don’t find myself with any inspiration to create anything delicious with them. I feel like they’re such a hit and miss kind of veggie and can very easily be prepared to tase bland or chewy. I actually really wasn’t a fan for such a long time and it’s taken countless attempts and trial and error to find ways of cooking them that I really enjoy.

This recipe executes that perfectly and leaves you with truly delicious, succulent & melt in the mouth chunks of aubergine that soak up a whole load of incredible flavour from the rich tomato sauce.

I’ve pretty much always shared mainly plant based and vegetarian recipes on the blog, mainly because I love how it inspires me to step out of my comfort zone and create twists on your classic, conventional dishes. However, recently I’ve been really trying to include a lot more veggie and vegan meals into my own daily life and I’ve been truly loving eating this way. In the past, I’ve gone through brief periods of stop and start veganism – which really wouldn’t last any longer than two weeks and always left me craving things and feeling restricted. I don’t currently place any rules or labels on my diet, so the changes that I’ve made have come really gradually and naturally.

The pesto adds a real depth of flavour and richness to the sauce and you get a great texture from the aubergine; so I don’t feel like I miss the meat element if I’m using this as a pasta sauce at all. Plus, it’s a great way to pack a meal full of a delicious selection of vegetables! It’s a super healthy, simple and just generally fuss free recipe that you can prep on a Sunday evening ready to turn into an array of delicious dishes throughout the week!

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 brown or red onion
  • Pinch mixed herbs
  • 2 Tbsp red pepper pesto
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic-crushed
  • Olive Oil for cooking

Method

Preheat your oven to 185c.

Start by chopping your veggies and preparing them to roast. Dice the onion into bite-sized chunks and cut the aubergine into pieces just slightly larger than this. Slice the courgette into rounds.

Pop all of these onto a large baking dish with the cherry tomatoes and drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and roast these in the oven for around 30 minutes.

Pour over the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs and crush in the garlic cloves. Give everything a good mix and stir in the pesto.

Place the dish back into the oven to roast for an additional 30 minutes so that all of the veggies are beautifully soft and the dish has slightly crisped on top.

Serve with pasta, crusty bread, or however else you desire.

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