This is my favorite scene from Disney’s Ratatouille. The scene of the food critique is the quintessential relationship of food to feelings. Shortly after the movie came out I searched for a Ratatouille recipe. Many of them had basil, far too much thyme, and it looked like a hot mess because the traditional Ratatouille is a course stew of end-of-summer vegetables. Just recently I came across Deb Perleman’s Smitten Kitchen version of Ratatouille. After reading it over, I convinced myself this can’t be that difficult. Well it’s not difficult! NOT AT ALL. In fact, I’d go as far to say, it’s a Learning To Cook meal.
I modified the recipe to what I had in the pantry and crisper. I had the Japanese eggplant, the zucchini, but I did not have the yellow zucchini but used a small sweet potato instead. Also, I think plain tomato sauce is just a wee bit bland, so I used Prego Italian Sauce chunky vegetable that has a little sweeter taste to it to compliment the sweet potato.
Printable Version: 2016 Ratatouille pdf
- 1 green onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 c Prego Italian Sauce chunky garden combo
- 2 T oil
- 1 small Japaneese eggplant
- 1 small green zucchini
- 1 small sweet potato
- 1/2 small red pepper, sliced thinly
- pinch of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Ladle the Prego into the 8.5″ x 11″ glass or Corningware pan. Add the garlic and onion into the Prego. Slowly add the 1 T of oil all over the sauce. Stir it up a bit. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: keep in mind the Prego is already seasoned and you don’t need much salt.)
Remove the ends off all the veggies, and peel the sweet potato. I don’t have a madoline, so I used my hollow-edge knife to cut them approximately 1/8th – inch thick. Don’t they look pretty????
Arrange the veggies, alternating the vegetables, in a circle (see photo). Fill in the entire pan. Add the red pepper every so often hiding it between slices. Drizzle the remaining oil over the veggies and season with salt and pepper. Remember that dry thyme is much more potent than fresh and you need only a hint of the taste. Therefore, just a pinch or a tiny bit more is all you need to sprinkle over the veggies.
Cover with parchment paper or Reynolds Wrap non-stick Pan Lining Paper. Cut off a piece as large as the pan. Lay the pan on top, use a pencil to outline the pan, then cut with a scissors for a perfect top to your dish. I placed the aluminum foil side down, and 1/4 of the way through I turned it over to the parchment side as it was curling. Live and learn.
You can choose a grain or pasta of your choice, I used Success Brown Instant Rice, to pair with the Ratatouille. To plate it, I added 1 T Prego on the plate first, then the rice, then the Ratatouille.
The flavor was outstanding. I even had enough for two left over lunches. Hubby is not a red sauce fan nor a veggie fan so they’re just for me. You really have to like roasted vegetables. The taste was so good I’d serve it for a ladies luncheon.
Note: eggplant oxidizes quickly, and turns spotty. Don’t be alarmed by that, it’s ok. This is not the type of dish that you make ahead to roast later.