This pasta dish was inspired by our favorite ratatouille recipe. It comes together much faster than traditional ratatouille but it still tastes so good your eyes will dilate and you'll drop a pen, or your fork if you aren't a food critic in an animated movie.
I love ratatouille for so many reasons. My family loves it, its healthy, it's flexible, it's top 8 allergen free, it's beautiful, it's delicious, it's super affordable, it's easy to incorporate meat to go on the side, and did I mention my family loves it?!
Recently, I was teaching a friend how I make ratatouille and talking about all the different variations I've made of the famous dish over the years. I told her that the hardest part about the dish is how much time it takes to stack all of the vegetables into a pattern, and how I wished there was a faster way to get the same food onto the table. That's when the spark came and this recipe developed in my mind- a PASTA version of ratatouille! I make spiralized veggie noodles all the time, i'm surprised the idea hadn't come to me sooner.
The next time I was at the grocery store I picked up the usual ingredients, except I bought a large can of crushed tomatoes instead of tomato paste. If you want to make this recipe and save yourself .56 cents, then stick to the ingredients of the original ratatouille recipe. I "splurged" because I just love tomato chunks in my pasta.
Your first step when you get home from the grocery store, is to wash all your veggies for the meal. Some people buy produce wash, I like to soak all my fruits and veggies in a large bowl of water with a large splash of white vinegar. Depending on the thickness of the skin, any bruising or cuts, and if it's organic or not, varies the amount of time that you soak your veggies, usually from 5-10+. I soak my eggplant 15 minutes total. Rinse them off in cold water and dry them.
Next, you will want to get your spiralizer out. If you don't yet have one, I highly recommend this one that I use. I used my spriralizer all the time even before I switched to being vegan and gluten free, so no matter what your diet is, I would say it's worth it to buy one. I spiralized my zuchinni and yellow squash on the thickest spaghetti noodle setting. I'll save you the trouble and tell you to not even try to do your eggplant on that setting because it will just crumble apart and not work. Instead, I used the ribbon cutting blade for the eggplant and then took some scissors to all of the veggies to make them appropriate thicknesses and lengths. You can go ahead and spiralize your onion as well since you already have the tool out and dirty, or you can hand chop it if you need a reason to make your mascara run down your cheeks.
Heat your oil in a large pot on medium high heat and toss all your veggies into the pot. Make sure you are only stirring occasionally so that the veggies can release their steam rather than becoming soggy in their juices. The amount of time that you cook them on the stove at this time is dependent on how you prefer your veggie noodles. I cooked ours for 10 minutes so that they still had just softened enough to be flexible and get a few crispy marks from the hot oil. When you reach your desired doneness, go ahead and stir in that 1/4 cup of minced garlic. Yes, you read that right- we love our garlic here at Golden Acres. If you hate garlic because you are a vampire or something, then please adjust it to your preferences! At this time you can dump in the remaining ingredients and stir it all together. All the stirring will release juices from the veggies again, so let it simmer uncovered to thicken. I heated some italian loaf slices slathered in my homemade garlic herb butter along the side. Serve it up and make sure to impress your guests by letting them know its not just any pasta, its Ratatouille Pasta.
Makes 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 36 minutes
2 yellow squash
4 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
28oz can crushed tomatoes (or sub 1 small can of tomato paste combined with 3/4 cup water)
1 tsp fresh thyme plus sprigs for serving
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1 red bell pepper to spiralize, diced mushrooms, additional herbs to taste (oregano, italian seasoning, oregano)
Wash and dry all of your veggies. Spiralize the eggplant using your ribbon blade. Switch to the largest spaghetti noodle blade to spiralize your remaining vegetables.
Heat 3 tablespoons in a large pot over medium high heat. Add all of the vegetables to the hot oil and stir occasionally for 10 minutes uncovered. Do not over stir so that the juices from the veggies can steam.
When your noodles have reached your preferred doneness, add the minced garlic and saute 1 minute.
Dump in the remaining ingredients and stir until the noodles are covered. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
Serve hot with a fresh thyme sprig and parmesan for garnish.
Recommended sides, drinks, and desserts: toasted garlic-herb-buttered bread, caesar salad, italian sausage, your favorite white wine, creme brule.