With summer arrives the abundance of cheap veggies, and you cannot resist but buy them, even though you don’t have any idea what to do with them. I had bought a lot of summer veggies and there were a few that remained in the fridge. I would’nt have thought of making ratatouille, if it were not for ‘The Next Food Network Star’ reruns that were going on and on at the Food Network channel. Last years season that is. And the winner of the season, Melissa d’Arabian had made ratatouille for one of her courses. When she had talked about her dish, she said, ‘EZPOT’ – Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes as the building blocks of Ratatouille. And it kind of stuck with me. EZPOT – how ingenious! There are few people I know, who come up with these ingenious acronymns that kinda stick. I am not good with them, but once I get one, it sticks with me.. 🙂
So, I had the EZPOT ingredients(I have to mention it so many times, so that it sticks to your head, just like it did in mine:) ), and I decided on making ratatouille. But, my dear husband was craving for pasta, so I thought why not make ratatouille pasta. After my quest on the net scape, I landed on this recipe for ‘Roasted Ratatouille Pasta’ by Rachel Ray. I felt Rachel’s instructions for this recipe, were a little bit too complicated than required, so I have tried to simplify it.
1 head of garlic whole
4 small zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 pint of grape tomatoes
4 tbsp of EVOO
1/2 cup of parsley chopped
1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to top pasta
1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
2 tsp red chilly flakes
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp + extra salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Take a piece of aluminium foil and place the garlic clove on it, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil and place it on a baking sheet. Set the oven timer for 45 minutes.
Core, seed and cut the bell pepper into small squares. Peel, cut and seperate the onion into small squares also. Peel and trim ends off the eggplant and cut into small cubes. Trim the ends of the zucchini and slice it into little half moons. Toss all the vegetables into a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, the red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place it on a foil lined baking sheet. Wait until your oven timer is at 30 minutes and place the veggies inside.
Set a pot of water to boil, and add 1 tbsp of salt. Meanwhile, chop the parsley and grate the Parm.
When the timer is done, pull out the veggies and the garlic. In the same pan you roasted the garlic, place the tomatoes and drizzle with a little bit oil, salt and pepper. Set the timer to 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente. Remove 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid, before draining the pasta.
In the bowl that you tossed the veggies in before roasting, add the pasta water. Squeeze the cooled roasted garlic into this water. Add the roasted, blistered tomatoes into the bowl and muddle lightly. Add the parm into this mixture. Toss the roasted veggies and the pasta and mix to combine. Test for seasoning. Finally toss in the chopped parsley. Serve hot with a sprinkling of additional cheese.
Verdict: It was veggie-licious and also very colorful. I have never saved/added the starchy cooking liquid while making pasta before, maybe because I am so used to using canned sauces. And, I never believed, it could create a sauce on its own. But, now I am a believer :). It became almost creamy and bound everything together. Its a good way to have a balanced meal. The next time, I am going with two whole heads of garlic, coss I lost the garlic flavor in here..but other than that a total hit! EZPOT is here to stay. 🙂Pin It