Ratatouille

My friend Eva, make my day with a basket of  vegetables, the results of the summer harvest in her garden. The basket was filled with  beautiful eggplants, zucchini, squash and tomatoes. I remembered how my mom Ceil,  would love to make ratatouille every summer using these same ingredients. It was a staple barbecue side dish, when we were in the height of  summer. I’ve tried different variations and this by far is my favorite and reminds me the most of mom’s only with a few extra ingredients to kick up the volume on the taste. Tyler Florence really has the ultimate recipe, so no need for me to mess around. I’ve offered a few suggestions below for ingredient options. For example, instead of opening a tin of anchovies, I always keep a tube of anchovy paste handy in the fridge. I like how the paste just melts into the dish as an ingredient. I made this over the weekend and used the leftovers the next day for pasta.  Celebrate the summer harvest using this recipe!
From by the bay wishing you great summer harvest food memories!
Maryann
blog ratato pasta
Ratatouille 
Serves 4
Adapted from Tyler Florence – “Tyler’s Ultimate” published in 2006
Ingredients
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound small Italian eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound zucchini, cut crosswise into 1-inch sections
3 anchovy fillets, finely minced or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 pints cherry tomatoes or 3 medium size Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 dried chile or 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Splash balsamic vinegar

Directions
Line a large platter with paper towels. Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the eggplant, season generously with salt and pepper, and let that cook down for 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggplant is soft and wilted. Remove the eggplant from the pan and onto a platter to drain. Next stop, zucchini: cook it the same way in 1/4 cup oil, then add it to the platter with the eggplant.

Add another 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan, then the anchovies or paste, onions, garlic and herbs. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions get nice and caramelized. Add the tomatoes and cook that down for 10 to 12 minutes, until pulpy. Return the eggplant and zucchini to the pan, crack open the chile, and add that too or season with red chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper and let the ratatouille cook slowly for about 20 minutes, until the mixture is soft, mushy and juicy; you want all the flavors to come together. Stir in the vinegar and let cool to room temperature.

Read more at: www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-ratatouille-recipe2/index.html?oc=linkback

Cook pasta according to directions. Once cooked set aside 1/2 cup cooking water. Place the penne in a bowl, top with room temperature ratatouille, grated cheese and cooking water. Mix well. Top with a little more grated cheese and basil. Serve immediately. 

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