We all want our children to eat more vegetables and one way I discovered to encourage the consumption of vegetables is to add that with meat sauce. This is by no means an authentic Ratatouille dish, but the twist we put into it has made it so flavourful and most definitely delicious!
Simple one pot meal that even the children love rolling up their sleeves to help out in the kitchen as well.
Since I have been trying to eat healthy lately, I’ve made it a point to add in more vegetables into our daily meals. Besides adding more vegetables, I have also been consciously picking a healthier cooking oil. We were happy to be given 2 bottles of award winning olive oil to try. I am sure you’ve noticed I have used a bottle of extra virgin olive oil for cooking, before anyone jump to conclusion about what you might have heard about cooking with extra virgin olive oil, here’s a great write up that could debunk all the myths surrounding cooking with the oil.
When preparing this meal the most difficult part would have to be the cutting and chopping of the vegetables *smile*.
Making pasta sauce from scratch is not only easy, it’s also really healthier, we know what we’ve added with sufficient seasoning. Other than preparing the meat sauce, I engaged my little helpers to assemble the veggies for me into the baking dish. It’s such a hearty meal with such wonderfully colourful vegetables, it’s already very appetising visually and we haven’t even come to the taste of it *wink*
Once all the vegetables are assembled in rows as seen in the photo above, just cover the casserole with a layer of aluminium foil and pop the entire baking dish into the oven. Meanwhile, boil some pasta in a pot and when the Ratatouille is ready, just serve it over the prepared pasta. That in itself is a very tasty meal!
1 Zucchini cut into disc slices
1 medium size Egg Plant cut into disc slices
2 Tomatoes cut into disc slices
1/2 Red Bell Pepper cut into semi circle slices
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper cut into semi circle slices
Mozzarella cheese for topping
1 can of Diced tomatoes
2 tbsp of tomato paste
200gms of minced beef
100ml of water
2 tsp of sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1) Heat up olive oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic for a min or two
2) Add the veggies for the meat sauce into the sauce pan and stir-fry it for 1-2 mins
3) Pour into the sauce pan the canned diced tomatoes and 2tbsp of tomato paste
4) Add in water and add sugar, salt & pepper to taste; let it come to a boil then simmer for 10mins; off heat
5) With a hand blender(or a regular blender), blend all the tomato mixture till smooth
5) Stir-fry the minced beef separately till meat turns brown (takes about 2-3mins) add it into the homemade pasta sauce
6) On a baking casserole, add the meat sauce and even it out in the casserole
7) Assemble the veggies for the Ratatouille as seen on photo above
8) Preheat oven to 190C
9) Cover the top of the casserole dish with a layer of aluminium foil (before popping the entire casserole dish into the oven.
10) Bake it for 40min and take the casserole dish out of the oven to remove the aluminium foil and top the desired amount of cheese onto the ratatouille.
11) Put the casserole dish back into the oven for another 10-15mins or until cheese has melted.
*You may serve this Ratatouille as a side dish or you may also prepare pasta on the side while the casserole is in the oven baking. Once the Ratatouille is done, just serve it with pasta and that’s a meal on its own. Bon Apetit!
*Disclaimer: This post was brought to you by Only Olive Oil. We have been gifted two bottles of award winning olive oil to try. All opinions and photos are our own.