A movie rat taught me how to make ratatouille – but by then it was already too late. My mom interprets, rather than follows, recipes. So when she made ratatouille, it followed the traditional dish in the sense that there are vegetables and an oven. But let’s just say that no Frenchman – or rat – worth their salt would recognize the dish as one of their own. After watching the movie, I looked up an actual recipe. I read it about halfway through; then decided it was more time-consuming than tasty, no matter how it turned out. So, I stick with my mom’s recipe, adapting it as the season and my pantry dictates – not unlike the French.
It’s a dish that receives both rave reviews. Though when I refer to it as ratatouille, the response is inevitably the same: it looks nothing like what the Disney rat made. True enough, but would you want to eat something that looked like a rat prepared it?
My Impression of Ratatouille
2-3 zucchini, cut in spears
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 colored peppers, cut in spears
1-3 carrots, sliced
1 can diced tomato, 1 can tomato sauce, spices as desired; or
1/2 jar pasta or marinara sauce
Oil the pan, dump vegetables on it, and sprinkle with salt a pepper. Drizzle a small amount of oil, or just use spray oil to coat. Toss vegetables and arrange so that they cover the pan evenly. Roast at 375 for about 45 minutes – maybe closer to an hour. Stir every 10-20 minutes. After they’re roasted, put everything in a pot and added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce and spiced as desired – in my case that means basil, parsley, and anything else that looks green appropriate.
Alternatively, you can sautee everything in a pot and, when cooked, add the tomato-based products.
Follow the direction in Method 1, pouring jarred pasta or marinara sauce to the pan of veggies – about 1 cup. Continue as directed above. Easy, breezy, beautiful – and delicious.