- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil.
- Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 min.
- Stir in artichokes, olives, chili flakes, yellow and red pepper, and zucchini.
- Add tomatoes, vegetable broth (or water) and thyme. Season to taste.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fully cooked, about 45 min. Set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, bring vegetable broth to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in cornmeal until mixture thickens.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 min, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Polenta is ready when it comes away from side of saucepan. If it becomes too thick, add some hot broth.
- Stir in olive oil, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese, then season to taste.
- Transfer polenta to a serving dish, top with ratatouille (warm or cold, to taste) and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese to taste.
- Using a serrated knife, cut off the prickly head of an artichoke and its fibrous bottom, then discard.
- Using a paring knife, peel base and stem of artichoke, and remove larger outer leaves.
- Using a dessert spoon, remove core from artichoke (the fuzzy centre part of the vegetable).
- Transfer trimmed artichoke to a bowl filled with cold water and juice of 1 lemon (to prevent oxidation).
- Repeat operation with the other artichokes.
- In a large saucepan, bring water with a pinch of salt to a boil.
Drain artichokes and add to saucepan. Cover with a lid that’s smaller than the actual saucepan lid, to prevent artichokes from floating, so they will cook evenly. Cook for 5 min.