Ratatouille…..Not the Movie, the Pasta!

Ever since I took Gastronomy class with Dr. Fisher last fall, I have been dying to try ratatouille. Dr. Fisher described it as the perfect blend of summer vegetables that tasted great served hot, cold, or served on top of another food. At this point, I have just tasted eggplant for the first time and was fascinated to try another recipe containing this hearty veggie. Well, although it is the end of summer, I finally had the opportunity to test the recipe. My friend Louisa gave me this excellent recipe for Ratatouille Pasta, a very attractive and tasty dish. It is zesty and packed with summer vegetables! This recipe is a great dinner option for vegetarians, or those who have way too much eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in their CSA boxes!

(FYI- I love this movie!)

Ratatouille Pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups diced, peeled eggplant

2 cups sliced zucchini

½ tsp salt

1 1/3 cup uncooked spiral pasta

1 cup sliced onion

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 tbsp. tomato paste (you can find a 6-ounce can at Wal-Mart for only 0.40!)

1 tsp. dried oregano

½  tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. dried basil

Dash of pepper

1 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preparation:

1. Place chopped eggplant and zucchini in a colander over a plate; sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand for 30 minutes; rinse and drain well.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, sauté the eggplant, zucchini, and onion in oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, garlic powder, basil, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Drain pasta, place on an ovenproof platter. Top with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 4-6 minutes from the heat until cheese in melted.

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