Fast Fresh Food? Ratatouille Pasta

When I had all five of my kids living at home, anything I could cook fast was good. I used Sunday’s for big meals and long cooking sessions. The kids all grew up, moved on or out and honestly Mom and Dad got a life so now if I can find meals that are still healthy, fresh but also fast, I consider them winners.

One of my favorite cookbooks in my kitchen is Jacques Pepin’s “More Fast Food My Way”.

I’ve posted a recipe from here before that was for a chorizo pizza but I changed it around a little. There are a lot of great recipes that use simple ingredients and really are fast.

This one is not as fast , but if you make the Ratatouille ahead of time and put away you could use it for not only this dish but I was thinking it would be amazing as crostini topping. Even cold this is good. I had it as leftovers for two days and found it just be better as the flavors mingled. I mainly made it because recently I was talking about how the very first dish I learned to cook was a ratatouille in a home ec class in 8th grade. You know, back when home ec really was about sewing and cooking and such. Yeah made it in the apron I actually sewed myself. It was my best school memory every. I hated school to be honest, except for science. Loved it and still do.

I was not able to find the Japanese eggplant in any of my local stores in time to make this. I did however find some at the farmers market later. So might be good to check there first if you can. They are currently in season as are most eggplants. Yum! I also swapped out the penne pasta for a brown rice pasta. Honestly it was the only penne the store had but I also happen to enjoy rice pastas.

Ratatouille with Penne

1 long Japanese eggplant or small regular eggplant
2 small firm zucchini, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 cubanelle or long italian peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups cubed onions
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 pound penne pasta
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup small pitted oil cured black olives
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
A few fresh basil or parsley leaves for garnish.

For the ratoutille-
Put all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Mix well , reduce heat to low, cover and cook gently for 30 mins. If you have a lot of liquid when the 30 mins is over then reduce by boiling uncovered for 3-4 mins. This gives you 5 cups of ratoutille.

Fixing to cook the ratatouille

Cook the pasta according to package and to your tastes.

If you’re rewarming the ratoutille add in salt, pepper and little olive oil to taste then reheat in a microwave or stove top till warm. Add this mixture when warm to the cooked pasta. Sprinkle with olives and cheese and garnish with basil leaves.



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