“Ratatouille? That’s a peasant’s dish. Are you sure you want to serve this?”
Oh yes, I’m sure. Ratatouille is one of my favourite French dishes, if not the favourite. And you know why? For the same reason Pixar tells you. It’s simple food at its best. When you cook vegetables the right way, you don’t need anything else.
Also, I believe each meal is a combination of different factors, and there’s a strong emotional component. I’ll always have memories of my grandmother cooking, and I hope these stay with me forever.
On a cold winter day, and far away from home, I couldn’t wish for anything else. This dish was like being hugged. I can only hope you’ll feel the same.
Ingredients for two
- 220–240g of your favourite pasta (I used penne)
- 400g fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 chili pepper
- 1 medium zucchini sliced or cubed
- 1 medium red bell pepper sliced or cubed
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2–3 tablespoons of olive oil
- a mix of spices: paprika, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, dried garlic, herbs of Provence, 3 small bay leafs, pepper, and salt
- Pre–heat the oven to 180ºC, or 160–170ºC if using the fan.
- Start by cutting your vegetables. Coat them with 1,5 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with your spices of choice. I used a mix of all mentioned above, but I’ll let you decide how much you want to add of each one. Honestly, I don’t like to measure spices, as it’s a matter of personal taste. Just make sure your vegetables are coated in spices. And maybe be extra generous with the herbs of Provence 😉
- Pop them in the oven and roast them for 12–15 minutes.
- As the vegetables roast, blend the tomatoes, garlic, and chili pepper.
- Heat a pan with the remaining 1,5 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the tomato purée to the pan.
- Add all the Italian herbs — oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil — to the tomato. Be extra generous with the oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the tomato purée to a boil, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until you have a consistent, thicker sauce.
- In the meantime, cook your pasta according to package instructions. If the pasta gets ready before everything else, let it rest in cold water.
- Once the sauce is on point, the pasta al dente, and the vegetables roasted, bring it all together.
Et voilá! 🙂