For a long time, Ratatouille was a big fat fail in this house. Undercooked, overcooked, lacking in flavor. The usual reaction it elicited from everyone was something more or less along the lines of, “eh…”
Which is so wrong because that Anton Ego guy like, totally went crazy for it, and even a rat can make it apparently, so we didn’t know what that was about. In Tyler’s Ultimate cookbook, where you’ll find the best mac n’ cheese ever (yes, it does involve bacon) and maybe the best minestrone soup ever (yes, it does involve sausage), we tried to follow the man’s instructions, and always somehow ended up with either a sloppy undercooked mess of gummy eggplant and sad zucchini that made you want to cry with frustration or a cooked through, but relatively flavorless concoction (no offense to Tyler Florence. I still can’t figure out what we were doing wrong). In any case, I was ruined for ratatouille for a long time:
“Hey, what do you want for dinner?”
“We have some zucchini and eggplant. We could make ra–”
“Don’t say it.”
*points finger toward the door* “Get out.”
Well, ahem, that all changed today. Because we made this Roasted Ratatouille Pasta, and it was so deliciously delicious…we had to share it with you all. Plus, The Woks of Life is branching out. Despite our name, we don’t all sit around eating dumplings and tofu all the time. (If you thought that, well…we actually don’t blame you. There is a lot of tofu on this website).
ANYWAYS, the secret to this ratatouille is roasting the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and onion all together rather than cooking everything in a pot. AND quality tomatoes. We used cherry tomatoes here, because when they roast, they get all wrinkly and sweet and bursting with tomatoey flavor. We also added sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste to really intensify those flavors. The pasta here is really like a bonus. Toss spaghetti with the ratatouille, fresh herbs, and parmesan, and it’s pretty amazing. But toast up a baguette and do the same thing…also amazing.
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- 2 cups diced eggplant
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 sun dried tomatoes, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 8 oz. spaghetti
- fresh basil, julienned,
- fresh parsley, chopped
- Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combined diced zucchini, eggplant, onion, and cherry tomatoes. Make sure that all the vegetables are diced in about the same size as the tomatoes.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon minced onion (just grab a couple pieces of onion from that big bowl and mince it up. This minced onion nonsense is one of those things that my weird and rather nit-picky father did, and I don’t quite have an explanation for why we’re doing it, but he would get mad if I didn’t put it in here plus we can’t really argue with the results so yeah. Yay run-on sentences!).
Add the dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the vegetables and toss until everything is well coated.
Line a sheet pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper and transfer the veggies to the pan.
Spread everything out in one layer.
Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables once halfway through baking.
You want everything to be super soft. Falling apart. And wrinkly.
…the vegetables. Ha.
While that’s going, bring a pot of water to a boil and chop up your herbs!
Cook your spaghetti until al dente and toss with the roasted ratatouille, fresh basil, parsley, and parmesan.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combined diced zucchini, eggplant, onion, and cherry tomatoes.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon minced onion. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the vegetables and toss until everything is well coated.
Line a sheet pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Spread the vegetables evenly on the pan. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables once halfway through baking.
Cook your spaghetti until al dente and toss with the roasted ratatouille, fresh basil, parsley, and parmesan. Serve!