11:13 pm on 19 July 2008

Ratatouille is not meant to be a sophisticated dish. It should be slowly cooked and when it’s ready the colours are still vibrant but totally merged. Each individual flavour has its head held high, but is more importantly part of a luscious whole.

(Serves 6)

Food with Alex Mackay
Head of Delia Smith's cookery workshops and author of Cooking in Provence. (duration: 21′22″)
Download: MP3


  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 strips Dried Orange Zest
  • 1 small bunch fresh savory or thyme
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large red or yellow peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 4cm chunks
  • 1 large aubergine, cut into 4cm chunks
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into 4cm chunks
  • salt and cayenne pepper
  • soft brown sugar


Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 10 minutes without colouring, until soft.

Add the tomato, orange zest and savory, and cook at a simmer while you sauté the other vegetables. Heat a third of the vegetable oil and sauté first the peppers for 5 minutes. Season them and add to the onion, garlic and tomato.

Wipe out the pan and do the same, separately, with the aubergine and courgette.

Simmer everything together gently for 30 minutes or so until the vegetables are completely soft but not dissolving.

Season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and sugar.

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