Pasta with Ratatouille-Style Vegetables
This recipe is perfect for summer, when you’re surrounded by peak-season vegetables. Take advantage of the warm weather by grilling the vegetables outdoors; alternatively, you can cook them under the broiler.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced and slices cut crosswise
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced and slices cut
crosswise into thirds
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 can (28 oz./875 g) Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano,
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) dry white wine
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 2 Asian eggplant, cut lengthwise into thirds
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into thirds
- 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh basil
- 12 oz. (375 g) rotini or fusilli pasta, preferably multigrain
- Fresh goat cheese, crumbled, for serving
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, thyme and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and season with salt and black pepper. Sauté until the peppers are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices and break them up with a spoon. Add the wine and simmer, stirring frequently, to blend the flavors, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a pinch of sugar if the sauce tastes too acidic.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a broiler.
Arrange the eggplant and zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the grill rack, cover the grill and cook, turning once, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes per side. Alternatively, broil the eggplant and zucchini, turning once, until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces and add to the sauce, then stir in the basil.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to a warmed large shallow bowl. Sprinkle generously with cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).