Ratatouille, Borlotti Bean and Polenta Bake

My older brother, Chris, owns a vegetarian cafe called Café Crema in New Cross, this is a recipe from there.


Ingredients Serves 4-6

  • 30ml olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 1 tbsp Italian dried herbs
  • 1/2 tube tomato purée
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, drained from oil and finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g polenta
  • 1 - 1.2 litres hot vegetable stock
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g grated cheese such as cheddar, or compte


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat, add the onion and cook for a few minutes, then add the pepper, courgette and herbs. Cook, covered, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are soft and cooked through
  2. Add the tomato purée and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the borlotti beans and stir through, season with salt and pepper, taste, adjust if necessary, leave to cool
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C
  4. For the polenta, put half of the stock into a large pan on a low/ medium heat and pour in the polenta, stirring all the time. Slowly add the rest of the stock, when it's bubbling, cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. To test it's ready, take out a little on a knife, if it comes off smooth and a bit rubbery once it has cooled, it's done
  5. Spread half of the polenta in the bottom of a baking tray measuring 26 cm by 23 cm. Put this in the oven for 7 minutes
  6. Take out and spread the vegetable mixture evenly over it, then the remaining polenta, spreading evenly
  7. Sprinkle with the sunflower, pumpkin seeds and the grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown
  8. Serve wedges of the bake with some salad and garlic bread

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