Ratatouille PastaCourse: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
I love this recipe. I pull it out every late summer, early fall because thankfully I have abundance of tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini in my garden so this seems to be one of the best ways to enjoy all those fantastic vegetables in one dish. I already love ratatouille so do my kids, but they love it best done this way as they do love pasta. This also makes great leftovers. You can also just make the ratatouille and serve it alone or with rice, polenta or farro.
1 lg or 2 medium Italian eggplant (1 1/2 lbs total)
1 large zucchini or 2 small
1 lg or 2 small bell peppers
2 medium onions: one red one yellow
1 pint cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 oz Parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup capers
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lb cavatappi pasta
1 1/2 cups basil leaves, torn
- Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a colander. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes, this is best done over the sink. Don’t worry if the eggplant starts to brown, you want it lose some of its moisture.
- Cut the zucchini and the bell peppers into 1/2 pieces. Transfer to a bowl and add the thinly sliced onions. Halve the cherry tomatoes and place them in a small bowl. Smash the garlic then chop and add to bowl with tomatoes. Slice the lemon in half, set aside. Freshly grate the cheese and place in another small bowl.
- With the eggplant, gently squeeze to release any remaining moisture.
- Heat a large dutch oven with 2 Tablespoons oil over high until oil is shimmering. Once hot, add half the eggplant and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring every 3 minutes, until eggplant is golden with some pieces beginning to char about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium if eggplant is browning too much. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a place. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in the pan over high heat. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Transfer eggplant to a plate.
- Scrape off any eggplant bits. Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat . Add capers and red pepper flakes.Cook stirring until bubbling goes away 30-60 seconds.
- Add onions, peppers and zucchini, season with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, scraping bottom of pan and reducing heat if vegetables are browning too much. Cook for 12-15 minutes until vegetables are tender, and have stared to brown. While this is cooking, bring a lg pot of water to a boil and follow the package instructions.
- Add the tomato garlic mix to the zucchini and reduce heat to medium low, cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until tomatoes have burst and everything starts to break down and caramelized about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on it and reduce heat if vegetables are cooking to fast.
- Add the eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes more, staring to incorporate the sauce. Taste and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- The pasta should be finishing up, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Reduce heat to low for the vegetables, add the cooked pasta, Mix well. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese and pour 1/2 cup of the pasta water and stir vigorously with a heat proof rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Add more pasta water if need. Remove from heat, squeeze half the lemon over the pasta and stir in the basil. Taste for salt and more lemon.
- Divide pasta among 4 warmed bowls and garnish with more cheese and serve. This does well served cold or as leftovers.