Autumn truly is a beautiful time of year. Besides the cliche about the wonderful mixture of warm colours – oranges, browns and mustard yellows – the light at this time of year is exceptional.

This time of year makes me feel fuzzy inside. I like being inside as much as outside. Long walks upon crunchy, fallen leaves whilst being wrapped up in weather appropriate layers and still sporting sunglasses, the sun still warm on my back.

I start thinking about Christmas. Drawing up lists. Making plans and presents. Getting organised. And cooking colourful FOOD.

It’s no secret that I’m not the main cook in our household. In fact, I’ve managed to coast through our cohabitation (currently at 11 years) having cooked only a handful of times. I’m more of a sous chef, if you will. And as a first time mum, I’m massively grateful to have a husband who cooks fresh food and who cooks it well. But I suppose he needs time off every now and then.

As previously mentioned, autumn brings a foray of warm colours and more importantly, warm and cosy flavours. Walking around the streets of London, I can’t resist a good shop front with seasonal fruit and veg arranged beautifully.

Fruit & Veg, Parkway, Camden
Fruit & Veg, Parkway, Camden, London

Being a novice in the kitchen, I find the BBC Food page a comfortable place to find suitable recipes.

Although this recipe is for a ‘winter ratatouille’ I personally feel it is more of an ‘autumn ratatouille’ given the mix of colours. It’s the perfect food for an autumnal evening.

You can find the recipe here:

Pasta with winter ratatouille

There are a couple of issues/amendments to be considered for this recipe; it instructs you to cut the parsnips and carrots into large pieces and bung it all into a pan with the other vegetables. The other veg consists of sweet potatoes and red onions. You aren’t instructed to parboil the carrots or parsnips prior to commencing with the recipe. Now, carrots and parsnips are pretty hard vegetables and take a fair amount of cooking before they soften whereas sweet potatoes and onions take closer to the recommended 20 minutes cooking time. I experienced issues when after an hour the carrots and parsnips still hadn’t softened and the sweet potatoes had turned to mush. Therefore I recommend either chopping the carrots and parsnips into smaller chunks / par boiling / adding the sweet potatoes and onions after the carrots and parsnips begin to soften.

Also, for a bit of extra comfort, treat yourself to an extra sprig (or two) of rosemary and an extra dollop of honey.

I’m sure this recipe would work great with extra additions or substitutions, with whatever bits of veg you might have skulking around the veg drawer at the bottom of the fridge.

'Autumn' ratatouille
‘Autumn’ ratatouille