The classic Provençal Ratatouille features summer vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes that are washed, chopped, covered in olive oil and first roasted separately, then cooked all together, until they turn into a silky, harmonious stew.
Making ratatouille is definitely a project of love and labor; it’s easy, but fairly time-consuming. But with a few modern time saving tricks, you can still manage to enjoy all the classic flavors plus much more.
If you have watched the Disney Pixar movie Ratatouille, you will love making this recipe at home! If you haven’t, I highly recommend watching it! Ratatouille will get you excited about jazzing up your veggies and cooking them in fancier ways.
What goes in Ratatouille?
Ratatouille is generally made of a variety of fresh summer vegetables and herbs. Here’s what I’ve included in my version:
For the casserole
- Aubergines – A must in any ratatouille recipe. It´s the star ingredient.
- Zucchini – Different colored zucchini or squash adds beautiful colour to the casserole.
- Tomatoes – Get the fresh produce. Any kind of tomatoes work but Roma are the best choice.
- Potatoes – because I like adding a little texture to my ratatouille and potatoes are my convincing factor for kids to eat other veggies too.
For the sauce:
- Tomatoes – make the base of the sauce. I often use canned tomato sauce because that generally has more flesh with less juice and fewer seeds. You can make that from scratch, by all means, if you like.
- Garlic – Always a must in tomato sauces.
- Onion – for the richness.
- Paprika – spikes up the tomato sauce and adds a distinct flavour.
- Dried Herbs – Any provincial herbs would do! I prefer oregano and thyme.
- Olive oil – for healthy fats and taste.
- Salt, pepper and sugar – to bring out the flavours.
How to save time?
Slicing all the veggies evenly is the key to making a good looking ratatouille. That sounds time consuming, right?
But that’s exactly what saves your time. An even slicing ensures everything cooks evenly and thin slices of vegetables are done way quicker than the diced ones. Plus, they soak up all the flavours from the sauce without loosing their charming appeal.
- Use a mandoline slicer to make life easier! Cut tomatoes with a sharp knife! Stack the vegetables in your hands before placing them onto the bed of sauce.
- You can use canned tomatoes for the sauce.
- Bake the casserole or cook on stove top. Both ways work! Make sure you cover the pan to speed up the cooking time.
Are You Making This Ratatouille Recipe?
Do watch the step by step video instructions in my Instagram Highlights. I hope you will love this recipe as much as I do and will come back to leave me a comment.
Ratatouille - Quite the Disney Way
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 red /yellow paprika finely diced
- 400 g canned tomato sauce
- 2-3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 large light green zucchini or squash / pumpkin
- 1 dark green zucchini
- 1 long aubergine
- 2-3 tomatoes
- 2 potatoes
- 2 thyme sprigs optional
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- salt and black pepper to taste
For the tomato sauce
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Then onion and diced paprika.
- Add the tomato puree.
- Cook for 3-5 min, then add in the sugar , thyme and oregano.
- Mix all the ingredients together and gently crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, potato masher or coarsely blend with an emulsion blender.
- Allow to cook for about 15 min (add 1/2 cup water if required), then season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 180C (if baking).
- To make the ratatouille, start by slicing zucchini, eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes into even thin slices and set them aside.
- Arrange one slice of each vegetable on the pan and continue until the pan is full. To make things easier, stack the veggie slices in your hand then layer them into the pan.
- Season with a generous pinch of oregano, salt and black pepper on top. Place thyme sprigs on top, if using!
- Cover and cook on medium until done or bake (covered) for 45 minutes or until veggies are tender and the sauce is gently bubbling on the sides.
- Remove the pan from the oven, allow to cool for 5 min, then serve.
- Always adjust the seasoning as the taste of tomatoes can be different each time!
- You can use a slicer for vegetables or cut with a sharp knife.
- The canned tomato sauce can be replaced with fresh tomato purée.