Ratatouille Pasta

This recipe began as a mistake. Needless to say, it was one of the most successful mistakes I have had in awhile. I write a lot about using seasonal ingredients and wanting to use vegetables and herbs when they are at their peak. Well, sometimes vegetables fall by the wayside and toward the end of the week you end up with a variety of vegetables sitting in the bottom of the refrigerator tray waiting. I feel just terrible throwing these vegetables away; I mean someone at the farmers market put a lot of time and care into growing them for me. So at the attempt to silence my conscience this recipe was created; inspired by the traditional dish of ratatouille. (Don’t you still think of the cute little character from the Disney movie when you say it?)

I apologize for the long ingredient list for this recipe, but it is, after all, a clean out the refrigerator type recipe. If you have a different mix of vegetables in your refrigerator this week add those; the point is to use what you have available. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do; the pasta becomes creamy and salty, while the veggies lend a savory taste and a variety of textures. Every bite is better than the previous with this recipe!

I recommend keeping the pasta and the veggie mixture separate for storage; the pasta is great for lunch the next day all by itself!

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2-3 medium squash (zucchini or yellow squash, or a mixture), cut into cubes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cute into large dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves
  • 2-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp freshly cut parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1- 14oz tomato sauce
  • 16oz short cut pasta (I have used penne and bowtie)
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut eggplant, squash, bell pepper, and garlic; place in baking dish. Sprinkle red pepper flake, fresh herbs, and dried oregano onto mixture and drizzle with olive oil; then toss. Pour tomato sauce onto veggies and bake it oven for 20-30 minutes until veggies are tender; toss half way through the cooking process to make sure everything cooks evenly.

              

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; according to your package directions. Tip: You can substitute whole wheat pasta for added protein and fiber. Drain pasta and place it back in the pot; add butter and Parmesan. Stir until ingredients melt together.

             

Remove veggies from oven. Place pasta in bottom of dish; I like to use shallow bowls for this recipe. Place a couple spoonfuls of the veggie mixture on top of the pasta, and add more Parmesan and a sprinkle of minced parsley if you wish. Enjoy!

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