Recipe + Poem – Ratatouille

I have always held the movie Ratatouille close to my heart. I was 11 years old when I saw this amazing Pixar film, and it instilled an unrelenting belief in me – that you can be anyone you choose to be. I sometimes still struggle to find my place in this world, but I will always remember that one day, it could be near or far away, I will find that thing that clicks for me.

What are your dreams for the future, dear reader? 🙂

In Remy’s footpath, I was inspired to make Ratatouille this Saturday. It is a simple Provençal dish with a flavorful Tomato Sauce and a medley of vegetables. I am absolutely in love with Provençal recipes within the French cuisine because they embody the coziness of home-cooked comfort food (cue – Bouillabaisse). I still have a gargantuan amount of cooking methods and dishes to learn, but my comfort foods will always be stew dishes like Bouillabaisse, Chettinadu Chicken Curry, Tonjiru, Soon Dubu and the ever so pleasant Ratatouille.

I usually make my Ratatouille by cutting the vegetables into 1/8″ slices and letting them stew in a thick Basil-Garlic Tomato sauce. This time, I went a bit fancy with the plating. I still made my huge batch of my rustic Ratatouille that I eventually ended up having with some shaved Pecorino cheese for lunch. 🤣🤣

Remy

An underdog (or rat) with no
Way but up. A simple
Desire to know thyself;
A purpose to be more,
A desire to be better.
I can be anyone who I want to be –
You don’t have to wait for me,
But you will see.

Recipe

The following recipe contains methods for making both Remy’s version and the Rustic/College version of Ratatouille. I have also included a recipe for the tomato sauce, which you can replace with your standard, store-bought tomato sauce.

Ingredients (serves 1 as a main/only dish, and 4 as a side dish)

Tomato Sauce

  • 10 grams of Garlic
  • 3 Tomatoes (I prefer Heirloom) or 2 pints of Halves Cherry tomatoes (my favorite, they are sweet) or 1 14.5 Oz Can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil + More for drizzling
  • 10 leaves of Basil (optional)
  • 2 springs of Oregano (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegetables & Others

  • 270 grams or 1 Chinese Eggplant (for a nice equal shape) or Normal Eggplant (for the rustic version)
  • 200 grams or 1 Yellow Squash
  • 200 grams or 1 Zucchini
  • Pecorino Cheese (for serving, optional)

Tip

  1. Roasted the tomatoes in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes to add a bit of smokiness to your dish
  2. When I was in college, I only had one Porcelain bowl that I could use in the oven. If you are someone like me or would just like to make a quick version of this dish:
    • Cut the zucchini, eggplant, and yellow squash into 1/4″ cubes
    • Saute them individually to get the water out
    • Then add it to the tomato sauce and follow the rest of the steps
    • (Additional note) You can also let it stew in the stove for 10-20 minutes if you don’t have an oven
  3. If you don’t have a cast iron or any ovenproof pan to cook your sauce, simply transfer your sauce to an ovenproof dish and then layer the vegetables
  4. Layering method if you’re making Remy’s version
Layering

Utensils

As always, a trusted cast iron pan is a great equipment to have on hand.

Prep

  1. Slice the zucchini, eggplant, and yellow squash into 1/8″ slices (Remy’s version) or follow Tip 2 (Rustic/College version)
  2. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to get the bitterness out
  3. Gently squeeze out the water from the eggplant

Method

Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed or cast iron pan on medium-high and add garlic to it
  2. As soon as the garlic starts releasing its aroma, add the tomatoes
  3. Bring the tomatoes to a boil, and then let it simmer for at least 20 minutes
  4. Add your optional spices, and let it simmer for 10 minutes
  5. (Optional) Blend all your ingredients into a smooth mix and bring it back to your cast iron pan

For Remy’s version:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. (Optional) If you don’t have a cast iron or ovenproof pan, follow tip 3
  3. Now layer your ingredients in zucchini – yellow squash – eggplant order (see tip 4 – illustration)
  4. Drizzle the top with olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender

For the Rustic Version:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F or if you are using a porcelain dish 350°F
  2. (Optional) If you don’t have a cast iron or ovenproof pan, follow tip 3. You can also let it stew in the stove for 10-20 minutes if you don’t have an oven
  3. Add all vegetables to the tomato sauce, and give it a gentle mix
  4. Drizzle the top with olive oil, and season with some salt and pepper
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (@400)/40 minutes (@350) or until tender
  6. Serve with some Pecorino cheese, if you prefer

Please do leave a comment if you end up making this recipe, and I look forward to hearing more about your dreams 😁

2 thoughts on “Recipe + Poem – Ratatouille

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s