Preparation info

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Appears in

Good Food For Bad Days

Good Food For Bad Days

By Jack Monroe

Published 2020

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This is partly a ratatouille, partly a borlotti bean stew, hence the portmanteau. I was inspired, once again, by a recipe from the wonderful Sarah Raven – her Garden Cookbook is my go-to for all seasons and ingredients. She calls this her ‘absolute favourite recipe for borlotti beans’, so I absolutely had to try it. I have tinkered and tweaked it; she uses fresh beans and tomatoes, as is her way; I use tinned, as is mine. Sarah uses fresh coriander in hers but I cannot stand the taste of it, so I have used dried mixed herbs and added a splash of vinegar.


  • 1 large onion
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml stock – veg, chicken or beef
  • 1 tsp light-coloured vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 x 400 g tin of borlotti beans
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Peel and finely slice the onion and garlic, and toss them into a large, heavy-bottomed nonstick pan. Dice your courgette small, and add that too. Measure in the oil, season with salt and pepper and cook slowly and gently for 10 minutes on the lowest burner until the veg starts to soften.

Pour over the chopped tomatoes and the stock, then add the vinegar and herbs. Give it all a stir to gently combine, keeping it on a low heat.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the borlotti beans and stir them in. Simmer everything together for 40 minutes, topping up with a splash of water if needed so that the beans don’t dry out until the sauce is thick and glossy and the beans are ever-so soft.

Serve warm on rice, toast, pasta, or just spooned from the pan into your mouth, which is absolutely my preferred method.

Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.