Ratatouille is one of my most favorite movies, EVER! Remy (the rat) is probably one of my most favorite characters, EVER! The Ratatouille Adventure was also one of the rides/adventure I was *really* looking forward to when we went to Disneyland, Paris. As luck would have it I couldn’t go since I was pregnant that time. But I certainly think that it’s a sign that we need to go back there or at least that’s what I’m telling my husband anyway.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I made a dish similar to/inspired by Remy’s Ratatouille. I took inspiration from various recipes I found online, used the vegetables I had along with some marinara I had made a couple of days ago, some herbs and the result was something so good, even my fussy-eater husband approved of it. To me, this is a bigger victory than my toddler approving it, for reals.
The dish certainly isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it looks. If I can make it on a weekday evening, with a toddler in tow, anyone else can too.
Without further ado, I present to you, my recipe for Remy’s ratatouille inspired ratatouille. I’m particularly mentioning this because Remy’s ratatouille is actually Confit Byaldi by French chef Michel Guérard or so says Wiki.
The given measurement makes enough for 3 people (2 adults, one half ticket and some leftovers for one person to eat later, in our case).
For the sauce:
- 1.5tbs olive oil
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato puree/strained tomatoes
- Salt, chili flakes, rosemary and oregano – to taste
For the ratatouille:
- 1 yellow zucchini
- 2-3 green brinjals/eggplants, I used the Indian variety
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 chunk pumpkin (about 100 grams maybe?)
- 1.5-2tsp herbs (I used a mix of dried basil, rosemary, oregano)
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Mandoline/chips slicer or patience to slices your vegetables uniformly and thinly
For the sauce –
Heat olive oil in a wide pan and add the garlic to it. Let it get fragrant (don’t let it brown) and then add the onions.
Once the onions are soft, add the chopped tomatoes, strained/pureed tomato and the herbs and salt.
Mix well, close and let it cook (on medium low heat) for 30-45 minutes. You may have to add some water to adjust the consistency from time to time.
To save time and energy, you can dump everything into a pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 5-6 whistles too.
Once it cools down, blend it coarsely or smoothly depending on how you want the sauce to be. This measurement makes enough 350-375 grams of sauce (enough to fill a regular sized Nutella jar) and can be used for pastas, pizza, sandwiches, etc.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
For the ratatouille –
Slice all the vegetables thinly using a mandoline or chips slicer and set aside. You can use colored peppers, regular brinjals, or basically anything that doesn’t ooze out a lot of water and lose shape on baking. I’m going to try adding thinly sliced potatoes and/or sweet potatoes next time.
Preheat oven to 180°c.
Grease a cast iron skillet generously with olive oil. I have and use this 8 inch Lodge Cast Iron skillet. Any other baking dish would do too.
Spread the sauce on top of this, I used the entire jar of sauce I had.
Arrange the sliced vegetables on top of the sauce in any order/pattern you want starting from the sides and ending in the center of the pan. This was such a therapeutic thing to do.
Remember to sprinkle some herbs in between while arranging the vegetables (not necessarily after every slice though) so that the flavor is spread out.
Once done, sprinkle the rest of the herbs on top, season with salt and pepper and bake at 180° for 20-30 minutes.
Please note that oven times may vary. The vegetables are done when they’re slightly browned on top, soft without losing shape, the sauce is bubbling in the bottom and your entire house smells heavenly.
This recipe is vegan if you don’t use the feta or butter on toasts or use vegan substitutes instead. This is also a very toddler friendly dish since it’s quite mild (in terms of spiciness) and also colorful (if that matters to your child).
You can even involve your toddler in layering the vegetables if you want to. Mine was busy creating a mess in the name of water painting, so I did not bother.
Serve hot or warm. Scoop out a portion of veggies along with the sauce from the bottom of the pan. I ate it as is topped with some feta (highly recommend this!). For the boys, I made crispy buttered toasts and added the veggies on top so that the bread could soak up the sauce and taste all sorts of delicious.
I have some leftover which I plan to eat with herbed couscous tonight. I assume it will taste just as fabulous with steamed rice or quinoa too.
PS: Please watch the movie if you haven’t already. It’s the BESTEST EVER!