But regardless of what it’s called, I’ve wanted for years to make the featured recipe from the movie. I never have because I’d also never had ratatouille and wouldn’t have anything to compare it to if I ever tried the tian version. And I’d just never gotten around to it.
I wasn’t going to let that happen during my year of casseroles.
I loved the recipe I used last week for just plain old ratatouille. But this one is just perfect for summer. The vegetables are just this side of mushy, and the sauce is light and amazing.
I want to credit myself with the recipe entirely — just following the movie. But thankfully I just happened across a similar recipe that even calls out “Ratatouille” about a week before I planned to make it. But still, I ended up doing pretty close to my original plans, with a little more guidance on how much of everything to add and how long to cook it.
I still couldn’t get mine to prop up the way the fancy restaurant in the movie manages it, but it is amazing nonetheless.
3/4 lb. summer squash (about 2 medium), sliced 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
3/4 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium, sliced 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
3/4 lb. Japanese eggplant (about 2 medium), or a regular eggplant quartered, sliced 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
3/4 lb. Roma tomatoes (about 4), sliced 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
Vegetable-tomato sauce, recipe follows (or if you want to make it easier, get a jar, preferably of one like arrabbiata sauce, but anything will work depending on your tastes)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large skillet, working in batches, briefly saute the squash, zucchini and eggplant, about 4 minutes per batch. Add a little bit of olive oil with each batch, and salt the vegetables, while stirring occasionally. Remove the vegetables to a large baking sheet, or baking sheets, to cool completely.
When the vegetables are cooled, spread vegetable-tomato sauce into a thin, even layer on the bottom of a casserole dish that holds 2 quarts. Alternate the squash, zucchini, eggplant and tomato slices into either a circle in a round dish or in vertical lines in a square dish.
Place parchment paper atop the vegetables.
Cook for 15 minutes until bubbly. Serve with more sauce, if desired, and enjoy.
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Vegetable tomato sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2 bunches scallions, white and light green parts sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 (14.5 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 T. dried basil
2 t. fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add all the vegetables, except the tomatoes. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, about 1 cup water and the herbs. Bring to a boil and cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool slightly and then blend in a blender or immersion blender. I cooked it down after blending because I wanted a thicker sauce, but that is optional (and quite messy).