Ratatouille macaroni cheese pronto

Monday, April 28, 2008
Courgette, cheese, onion and tomato, as it was called, was a summer staple in the Benson family when I was young and the courgette plants were proliferating daily. On the days when the sun was strong you could watch them grow by checking them at various points from the morning till the evening.

In Devon my grandparents had a warmer, sunnier climate so they could grow aubergines too - which at that time was quite exotic as we were just on the verge of globalising our food tastes as a country. Aubergines were added to their ratatouille, when they weren't being used for aubergine fritters.

Hunger is the mother of food invention. This dish was cooked up in less than 5 minutes, and is a take on our old Courgette, cheese, onion and tomato with a few extra Mediterranean additions.

What I added:

  • Courgette sauteed (leave them without stirring to colour - that is where the flavour is)
  • Cooked frozen red onion
  • Parma ham
  • Tomatoes (fresh, tomato sauce, or left over cooked tomatoes from breakfast)
  • Sun dried tomatoes (if they come with capers in the oil for flavour add those too)
  • Cooked macaroni (Cook day before or in the morning and refresh under cold water before leaving in fridge to save time)
  • Water (to make a little steam to heat the macaroni. By the time it has all reduced the pasta is hot)
  • Grated cheese
  • Fresh herbs - depending on what you have - chives, basil

What you can add:

Anything you like.

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