Steve decided he was going to make me a special dinner this past Sunday because I did well on a recent test. Not just any test, but a test that is the beginning of the next phase of my life, which includes going back to school. So, it’s a big deal. Anyway, he was being very sweet and decided that he would make something special.
Sunday’s are his day to make dinner anyway, and even though it’s his day, we almost always do it together. I suppose I just can’t stay out of my kitchen, especially when someone else is in it. But really, the time we spend together cooking is some of the most joyous time I have with him. So of course, I helped him make my special dinner.
We chose to make Ratatouille. I had recently (for the first time) been introduced to the movie and fell in love with it. I had never made ratatouille before and Steve wanted to cook eggplant, so it seemed like the perfect dish to make. After a bit of research and a trip to the farmers’ market we set out to create a delicious meal together.
In the end, cooking together was wonderful and the finished dish was delicious. We did hit some bumps along the way, which is why I’m not going to post a blog about it until we make it again and work out some kinks. However, the bumps that we experienced had only to do with the how we chopped the vegetables and the cooking time. The flavor was perfect. And because of this we were able re-purpose the ratatouille in a pasta dish (and later in the week, ratatouille pizza).
So here is the recipe for what we made. I have not altered it at this point because it works great for pasta and pizza, which is what this post is about.
- 2 small Italian eggplants
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium summer squash
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 medium purple onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I like Pomi), divided
- 1/2 lb. short pasta
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Slice eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper and onion into 1/4 inch slices and place into a large bowl. Slice the garlic and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper to the vegetables and toss gently.
Add 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes to the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Layer the vegetables into the baking dish and top with the remaining chopped tomatoes. Top this with a layer of parchment paper, cut to fit the pan, and bake for approximately 50 minutes to an hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is bubbling.
While the ratatouille is baking, cook the pasta as per the package directions.
When the ratatouille is done, take half of it and chop it roughly. Mix this with the pasta and serve.
Once the remaining ratatouille has cooled, put it in the refrigerator for pizzas later in the week.