(Inspired by the cute promos of the Pixar movie – Ratatouille (Rat-a-too-ee) in the papers. This movie releases in India on August 24)
We all have a slight hesitation when it comes to cooking foreign foods in our kitchen especially because of the unavailability of some ingredients and also doubting its acceptance by the people we are cooking for. But there are some dishes like Ratatouille that can be tried in any world kitchen due to its simple ingredients and procedure.
It is a traditional French Provencal stewed vegetable dish that originated in Nice. You can either have it as a meal by itself or serve it with simple bread, rice or mashed potatoes. I’ve discovered that using it as a chunky hearty sauce with your favourite pasta will make it an unforgettable meal. The people you serve this to, will want to kiss your hands for the rest of their lives. So be careful, whom you serve it to!!
Ratatouille with pasta
Category: French-Italian fusion
Time Taken: 30 minutes
Serves: 3 or two really hungry people
Ratatouille with Cochiglie Rigate - Dinner last night !
- 1 - 2 tbsps olive oil
- 4 - 5 cloves garlic u2013 peeled, smashed and chopped
- 1 onion large - thinly sliced
- 1 cup eggplant diced (Use the big sized roasting variety )
- 1 strips bell pepper large , cut into short
- quartered 1 zucchini , lengthwise and diced
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 1 xbd cups tomatoes chopped (with seeds)
- 1 packed spinach loosely finely shredded cup
- 200 ml tomato puree (unsalted)
- 1 tsp red chilli chilli powder / flakes
- 1 tbsp oregano dried
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds crushed
- xbd tsp thyme dried
- xbd cup basil leaves
- 1 xbd tsps salt
- xbd tsp black pepper powder
- Recipe for Pasta:
- Take 1 xbd cups of your favourite pasta (short variety like penne, spirals, conchiglie ).
- A large pot of salted boiling water.
- Cook pasta according to pack instructions, drain and keep aside.
- Recipe for Ratatouille:
- In a large soup pot / saucepan, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Start with the smashed, chopped garlic, saute for a few seconds. Do not brown. Add the sliced onions with a fat pinch of salt and stir it on a low flame for 3-4 minutes till soft.
- Put it in the diced eggplant and bell pepper strips. Stir this occasionally until they are half done. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Next, add the zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Season with chilli powder, remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes till vegetables are cooked. Lastly throw in shredded spinach, stir for 2 minutes until the leaves wilt and blend with the rest of the vegetables. Add spices and dried herbs, torn basil leaves, black pepper powder and give it a good stir.
- Add the cooked pasta and combine well with ratatouille. Serve hot garnished with some more shredded fresh basil.