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Ratatouille Pasta

September 26, 2012

This dish came about from a need to make dinner with what I had on hand, which included some leftover veggies in the fridge and fresh local produce. When I’m in a pinch, I know I can make pasta very quickly but I like to include vegetables to make it as healthy as possible. Ratatouille is a French vegetable dish that probably has as many different variations as there are chefs in France. It typically consists of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant and different types of herbs. Ratatouille is delicious on its own as a side dish or, as here, combined with pasta to make a complete meal.

You can recreate this dish with just about any vegetables that sauté well…I’m already thinking of a mushroom version for fall and winter. I left garlic out when I made this but if garlic is a must in your home, add it about 30 seconds before adding peppers to the onions.

What’s not to love about a quick weeknight dinner that comes together in about 20 minutes and is filled with fresh flavors? Leftovers taste great for lunch the next day too.

Ratatouille Pasta
yields 4 servings

one medium red onion, diced
one bell pepper (I used half a red and half a yellow pepper I had in the fridge), diced
one large zucchini, diced
two medium tomatoes, ripe but firm, diced
one pound pasta, such as fusilli or penne
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water and cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, chop the vegetables while the water is heating. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for two minutes then add peppers. Sauté for about two minutes, stirring occasionally, then add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Sprinkle with one teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute or two. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve pasta in a bowl topped with several spoonfulls of vegetable mixture. Top with freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of nice olive oil.

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