Monday, August 24, 2015

Roasted Ratatouille Pasta with Garlic and White Wine Sauce

Roasted Ratatouille Pasta with Garlic and White Wine Sauce

Ratatouille is such a perfect summer dish. And easy too. Basically, you sauté a bunch of beautiful in-season summer vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions and serve them with fresh herbs like thyme and basil. I've done a simple version before. This is a little more complicated, but I promise it's worth the extra work.

"I am the Ratatouille Man."
I love the combination of vegetables in ratatouille, and I thought they would work well as a basis for a pasta. It's not uncommon to serve ratatouille over pasta (or rice), but I wanted to do a little more with it, making a sauce that integrates the pasta and the vegetables.

I first roasted the vegetables for quite a long time, as they give off a lot of liquid. After about 80 minutes they were quite soft and just starting to turn a little brown around the edges. As that was finishing, I made a simple sauce of garlic cooked in butter to which I added first a little tomato paste and then some white wine. This formed the base of the sauce into which I folded the roasted vegetables.

If you love vegetable pastas, this summery version is sure to please. It was a real hit in our house. I recommend serving it with grated cheese. Parmigiano-reggiano or grana padano would do, but I think the brighter flavor of pecorino-romano works well here.

Roasted Ratatouille Pasta with Garlic and White Wine Sauce

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. dried pasta, such as fearful (I used tricolor)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup gruner veltliner wine (or other dry white wine)
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil ribbons (chiffonade)
Grated pecorino-romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Combine eggplant, zucchini, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste and stir to coat vegetables with the oil. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast vegetables until shriveled and the edges are lightly browned, about 60 to 80 minutes, turning vegetables every 20 minutes. Remove roasted vegetables from oven and set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the dried pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.

4. Heat remaining tbsp. of olive oil and 2 tbsp. of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute. Add the wine, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and increase heat slightly to bring to a bubble, stirring to combine the ingredients into a sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the roasted vegetables until combined. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked pasta and basil. Serve in shallow bowls with grated pecorino-romano at the table.


Basic Ratatouille

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