Reader Recipes: Clare’s Kind-of-Ratatouille

My budget is not as tight as it once was, but when my son was small there were days when I was reduced to searching the cracks in the sofa for change so that I could buy milk. You don’t forget things like that in a hurry.

Anyway, here is my modest offering. I’m not sure it really counts as a proper recipe. But it is, I have found, a very good way of getting even vegetable-shy toddlers to eat things they can normally detect and reject at fifty paces. You can adapt according to what’s in the fridge. On toast, it’s great comfort food, with rice or pasta it’s more substantial. It’s a kind of ratatouille, I suppose. I call it ‘rats on toast’, but I thought that if I made that the title of my e-mail you would probably think I was some kind of troll.

This easily serves three of us, and although I’m small my son is now over six feet tall and puts away a lot of food. His dad doesn’t do so badly, either.


1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped (you could certainly use less, but I like it good and onion-y)
1 small courgette (again, adapt according to what you have), chopped fairly finely
1 tin chopped tomatoes
6 medium mushrooms (or whatever you can spare), sliced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste (the squeezy stuff in a tube)
A generous dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt, say half a pot
Dried or fresh chopped basil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.


Put the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic, onion and courgettes. The onion and courgette should be allowed to become a little bit brown.

Now add the mushrooms, cooking them until they are just softened.

Add the chopped tinned tomatoes, stir and heat through.

Now add the tomato paste, cream/yoghurt, basil and seasoning.

Makes a good fajita filling too!

Best wishes, Clare.

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Categories: Recipes & Food


  1. Was very glad of Clares kind of ratatouille recie yesterday, after opening the freezer a dozen times to reveal bread, bread and more bread. My son and I had it with pasta and really enjoyed it. Only had to buy an onion and with only £3 left for the week, that was pretty amazing. Thankyou. Rebecca Jackson 😊

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Thanks Claire that was really tasty. I substituted the natural yoghurt with a couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese as that was all that was in the fridge. Will be having that again!

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