Ratatouille

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PRESENTATION

Ratatouille is a side dish made of vegetables typical of Provencal cuisine, widespread throughout much of France and especially in the city of Nice, where it is precisely called ratatouille niçoise; its name evokes the gesture of stirring the vegetables, which comes from the French touiller and from Occitan ratatolha. It consists of fresh vegetables cut into cubes of equal size and stewed together, respecting the correct order of insertion in the pot to avoid overcooking or, on the contrary, leaving them too crunchy. It is generally prepared in summer when vegetables are more abundant and flavorful and can be flavored with fresh thyme, basil, or other aromatic herbs to taste. Served as a side dish with boiled rice, potatoes, or even simply on bread, it is often enriched with thinly sliced onion. These pan-fried vegetables can be compared in taste and consistency to our peperonata or to the Sicilian caponata and served as a side dish for many main meat dishes, like our baked chicken with scamorza!

INGREDIENTS
Eggplant 3 ½ cups (280 g) - long
Zucchini 1 ⅔ cup (200 g)
Green peppers 1 cup (150 g)
Yellow peppers 1 cup (150 g)
Roma tomatoes 1 ½ cup (250 g)
White onions ¾ cup (120 g)
Garlic 1 clove
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Thyme to taste
Parsley to taste
Basil to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Ratatouille

To prepare ratatouille, first wash all the vegetables. Then take the yellow peppers, remove the stalk 1 and cut them in half. Also remove any seeds and internal filaments 2. Then cut each half again lengthwise 3

and obtain small strips 4. Repeat the same operation also for the green peppers 5. Then move on to the eggplants, trim the ends 6 and cut them in half.

Then with a knife, take only the outer part with the skin, thus avoiding the central part containing more seeds 7. Then obtain rectangles of about an inch 8. Then take the zucchinis: trim the ends and cut them in half 9.

As just done for the eggplants, take only the outer part of the zucchinis 10 and from this also obtain rectangles of about an inch 11. Move on to the tomatoes, trim them 12

and cut them into 4 wedges 13. Then obtain cubes from each 14. Take the onion, peel it and cut it into thin slices 15.

Then also finely chop the garlic and add it to the onion 16. At this point, strip the thyme leaves, tear the basil with your hands, and chop the parsley 17. Now you can take care of the cooking. Pour a little oil into a pan and add both the eggplants and the zucchinis 18.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally 19. Meanwhile, in another pan, pour a little oil, add the onion along with the garlic 20, and let it wilt over medium heat. After a few minutes, also add the peppers 21.

Add the tomatoes 22, a bit of water 23, and the thyme 24. Cook everything over medium heat

and as soon as 10 minutes have passed, add the zucchinis and eggplants to the peppers 25. Season with salt 26, cover with a lid 27, and continue cooking for another 10-12 minutes. If the water should dry out too much, add a little more to maintain a bit of sauce at the end of cooking.

Add parsley, basil 29, mix everything together 29 and serve your ratatouille 30.

How to store

Ratatouille can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Tips

To make ratatouille, you can also add yellow zucchinis, a rather sweet variety, and replace white onion with red. Ratatouille is even tastier if eaten the day after and is an excellent accompaniment for rice, potatoes, meat, and fish!