My ratatouille puff pizza

“Ratatouille is an old French classic, traditionally using tomatoes, peppers, aubergine and courgette. It’s one of those wonderful recipes that you can take and flex to suit the veg you’ve got right now. My ratatouille is a two-stage process – charring the veg first achieves a wonderful smoky depth of flavour, then I stew and soften it in a beautiful tomato sauce. This amount of ratatouille will give you more than you need for one puff pizza, so make two if you like, or save the leftovers and serve with rice, jacket potatoes, or pasta, in a quiche, on toast, in lasagne, or even blitzed with some stock and turned into soup. ”
Serves 4 with leftovers
Cooks In1 hour
DifficultyNot too tricky
Keep Cooking and Carry On


  • 1 x 350 g sheet of all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 pepper
  • ½ a bunch of asparagus (175g)
  • ¼ of a small cauliflower
  • ¼ of a small butternut squash
  • 30 g Cheddar cheese
  • 30 g Red Leicester cheese
  • Base tomato sauce
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil (15g)
  • 2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Unroll your pastry sheet and place it, still on the paper, in a baking tray. Score a 2cm-wide border around the edge, then bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed up, removing once done. Leave the oven on.
  2. Meanwhile, for the sauce, peel and finely slice the garlic, and place in a shallow casserole pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Tear in half the basil leaves, then cook and stir for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is lightly golden.
  3. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with your spoon, then swirl a splash of water around each tin and into the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, while you get on with the veg.
  4. Put a large dry non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Trim the courgette, quarter lengthways and remove the fluffy core, then place in the hot pan (or you could grill on a barbecue). Trim the leek, quarter lengthways, wash, halve the quarters so they fit in the pan, and add alongside the courgette. Char for a few minutes, turning halfway.
  5. While that chars, deseed and quarter the pepper. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and discard. Break the cauliflower into chunky florets. Deseed the squash and chop into 1cm slices.
  6. Remove the charred courgette and leeks to your board, and add more of the veg to the pan. Keep repeating the process, charring each veg for a few minutes and removing to the board once done.
  7. Chop the charred veg into rough 1cm chunks, adding to the simmering tomato sauce as you go. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Add the red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the sauce. Tear in most of the remaining basil leaves, stir well, then season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper. Now, you can either leave the sauce chunky, which is how I like it, or, if you’ve got fussy little ones (River, I’m looking at you), blitz it until smooth in a blender or food processor.
  9. The pastry should be cool enough to handle now, so squash all the pastry inside the border, creating a base for the veg. Spoon enough veg and sauce into the centre of the puff pastry sheet and spread out right to the corners.
  10. Coarsely grate or finely slice the cheese and sprinkle over the top. Finish with the remaining basil leaves. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the veg is hot all the way through and the cheese has melted.
  11. Slice up your puff pizza, and serve with a nice green salad on the side.


– Feel free to use fresh or dried oregano, marjoram, or even a little chopped fresh rosemary instead of basil in the tomato sauce.
– If you’ve only got one tin of tomatoes, don’t worry, just add a bit more water to stretch your sauce further.
– You could, of course, use mozzarella on your pizza, or even a nice crumbling of feta cheese.

– Add capers or chopped destoned olives to your tomato sauce for some tasty flavour bombs.
– Smoked bacon, anchovy or even tinned tuna in your ratatouille would be delicious.

– You can get ahead with this one by either assembling the whole thing in advance, ready to cook up for lunch or dinner, or even baking off the pastry and making the ratatouille, ready to assemble and bake when you want it.

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