Traditional pisto Manchego (Spanish style ratatouille)

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Oh my gosh, it is nice to be back. I had to take a break from blogging because I was fairly busy  the past few weeks. The end of the term for teachers is always crazy! At any rate, I have been preparing things for Christmas and getting back on track! Today I made this pisto Manchego and really, it is just  so yummy! I am giving you the basic recipe but remember to add the spices according to your tastes. I like ratatouille but it can be a bit bland so I just add  extra flavouring which includes oregano, thyme, a bay leaf,  a touch of rosemary and vermouth. This recipe takes time, but it is worth the effort. Pisto is a lot like paella here in Spain. Everyone has a different method or ingredient or special secret to making it great. If they can play around with the recipe, so can you! If you make any changes or have any suggestions, do let me know. In the mean time, I hope you try this!

Ingredients

1 large red and greed pepper, seeded and chopped

1 large onion, diced

2 large zucchinis sliced and quartered

700 g tomatoes, skinned and chopped

1.5 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons vermouth

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons thyme

1 bay leaf

1.Slice the eggplants and arrange them on a tray. Sprinkle them with salt and leave them for about half an hour to release their liquid. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

2. While you are waiting for the eggplants, pour just enough olive oil in a large frying pan to cover the base. Heat the oil on low to medium heat and put in the onions. Stir. When they are just about transluscent, pour in the vermouth, add the garlic, bay leaf and stir. I sometimes add about a teaspoon of thyme here, but if you are not wild about that flavour, then skip it. Leave it on low heat until the extra liquid evaporates and stir frequently. When the liquid has evaporated, set the frying pan aside. Remove the bay leaf.

3. In a separate frying pan, add just enough olive oil to cover the base and heat it on high heat. Add the red and green peppers and stuir them until just  golden. Remove the peppers fom the frying pan and set them aside. You will now have a red and green pepper flavoured olive oil.

4. Lower the heat to low mdium and add the eggplant. Stir carefully until just golden. If you have to add more olive oil, go for it. When they are golden, remove them from the frying pan and set them aside.

5. Continuing on low medium heat, add the zucchinis. Fry and stir until just golden.

6. Now take the large frying pan with the onions and return it to medium heat. Add all the vegetables (including the tomatoes), salt, pepper and sugar. Cook and stir frequently for about 15 minutes and check for taste. Cook for about another 15 to 30 minutes and serve hot with crusty bread dip into the gorgeous vegetable juices and olive oil. Just pure bliss!

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You can also blitz this in a food processor and end up with a delicious sauce for pasta and fish etc.

 

Enjoy!! xxxxNatascha

 

 

 

 

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