Vegetables are definitely my most neglected food group. Nothing against them, it’s just that I love carbs and fruit so much. So I decided it was time to find a veggie dish that I actually would look forward to eating. After getting lost in the world of Tasty videos and Lidia Bastianich, I stumbled upon the easiest, yummiest, most underrated and fun-to-say veggie entrée: Ratatouille! I felt fancy AF making this and it seriously was so delicious, I completely forgot it was healthy.
Sauce [I’m Sicilian, so buying sauce in a jar is a sin. But if you’re pro-RAGÚ (no judgment!) go ahead and skip the sauce sections]:
- A drizzle of EVOO and one TBSP butter
- Half a medium onion, sliced and diced
- About 1/3 tube of Cento Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
- One 28 oz can Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes (These are the only tomatoes I will ever use)
- Fresh basil (I used five big leaves)
- Sprinkle of coarse sea salt and pepper
- One eggplant
- One green squash
- One yellow squash
- One garden tomato
- Drizzle of EVOO
- Fresh thyme (about five to six sprigs)
- Pinch of coarse sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
- Mascarpone cheese (optional but HIGHLY recommend)
- Preheat oven to 375°, pour yourself a glass of wine and put on Dean Martin. This is non-negotiable.
- Slice eggplant into medallions. If it’s a big one (lol), quarter them. Place on paper towel to dry out.
- Drizzle EVOO and add butter to a sauce pan and turn to medium.
- Once everything’s melted, add the chopped onion and cook until transparent-ish, about 7 mins.
- Add tomato paste and mix with onions until thoroughly combined. Let that sit for about a minute or two.
- Add canned tomatoes, stir for a hot sec, then very carefully transfer to a blender. Blend until as smooth as Idris Elba.
- Return sauce to pan, add salt, pepper and fresh basil, cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, stir it up a bit, then cover and put the heat on low.
- Pat yourself on the back, check your Twitter feed and chill. You gotta let the sauce simmer a bit, otherwise it won’t be as flavorful. This is when I sliced my squash and tomato, because who has time for prep? Not me.
- Add about 1-2 cups of sauce to a baking dish or cast-iron skillet. Nothing too deep and make sure it’s circular.
- Layer those veggies! The order doesn’t matter, so add whatever whenever. Go in a circle as best as you can, starting outward (right against the dish). I found applying a lil pressure helps once you’re on your second layer/circle, and eventually saying “fuck it” and squeezing it in.
- Hand pick thyme leaves and sprinkle on top until you absolutely cannot stand it anymore.
- Sprinkle with EVOO and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if you like it ~hot~.
- Cover with parchment paper and put in the oven for 55-60 minutes.
- DRINK MORE WINE BECAUSE YOU JUST TRANSFORMED MUNDANE VEGETABLES INTO A SUMPTUOUS AND SCRUMPTIOUS DISH.
This recipe is simple, fun to make and super low stress because, really, it’s just veggies. It comes out gorgeous, is uber healthy and is so fun to say. Ratatouille, ratatouille, ratatouille. Serve over pasta, roasted chickpeas or just about anything, use as a side dish or eat as is. Don’t forget to top with Mascarpone cheese and make sure to have nice bread on hand, because you’ll want to dip. Enjoy!
Did you try it? Do you have another recipe you swear by? Let us know in the comments!