I thought baseball season was getting to be long and unending, but that’s probably only because my subconscious forgot about Sunday Night Football.
Which, by the way, is a total misnomer because it is actually SUNDAY ALL DAY FOOTBALL.
You guys. I’ve been duped.
Well, I wouldn’t say it’s exactly conventional but this ravioli ratatouille is my version of football watching comfort food. Not the kind that you eat while watching football, but the kind that you eat while your spouse watches football and monopolizes the television and ignores you for 24 hours straight.
Sure, I should have probably been spending all of this enforced free time practicing for my thesis defense talk instead of sulking over a bowl of noodles, but that just wouldn’t be in the weekend spirit, now would it?
I knew you would understand me.
Here’s the beauty of this dish – it’s a celebration of all things late summer! My CSA is still doling out the quite the tomato/eggplant/pepper bounty, so it just feels right. This ratatouille is probably a bit more complicated than most, but trust me – WORTH IT. It’s pretty much the best version of ratatouille I’ve ever had, and I have tried my hand at a lot of ratatouille recipes. Each of the vegetables gets sauteed separately (but in the same pan! I’m not a masochist), so that the flavors keep building, layer by layer. Then they’re all stewed together for 20 minutes while the ravioli cooks.
I can’t even explain the magic that happens in that pot, except to say that it just feels really smooth.
And most definitely like something you really need a big bowl of. With extra raviolis on top, please and thank you!
I’m really into mini raviolis at the moment (the cuteness!!) but you should just go with your gut and what’s available at your local supermarket. Tortellini would also work well here!
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- kosher salt
- 2-3 pinches of red chili flakes
- 2 cups chopped onions, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- ⅓ cup water
- 30 basil leaves, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ lb ravioli
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add ⅕ of the garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and the tomatoes. Season with the chile flakes. Saute until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat another tbsp of olive oil. Add ⅕ of the garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and the onions. Saute until slightly soft and lightly golden, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the pan with the tomatoes and set aside.
- Repeat in the same pan, heating another tbsp of olive oil, ⅕ of the garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and the zucchini. Cook over high heat until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the pan with the tomatoes and onions. Set aside.
- Repeat again with ⅕ of the garlic and another tbsp of olive oil. Stir in the bell peppers and ¼ tsp salt. Cook over medium-high heat until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the pan with the rest of the veggies. Set aside.
- For the last time, add the remaining garlic, olive oil, the eggplant, and ¼ tsp salt to the pan. Saute until browned and cook through, adding water if the pan gets too dry. Add the eggplant to the saucepan of veggies.
- Add the water to the saucepan of veggies, along with 10 whole basil leaves, and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the ravioli according to package directions and to desired consistency. Drain. Toss the pasta with the ratatouille when it is finished cooking. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove the bay leaf and serve with remaining basil.
More late summer veggie love:
From Around the Web:
Late Summer Bruschetta from A Cozy Kitchen
Fig Goat Cheese Salad with Fig Vinaigrette from Nutmeg Nanny
Ratatouille Pappardelle from A Cedar Spoon
Tomato and Basil Bake from Taste and Tell
Late Summer Corn Soup with Fresh Herbs from Once Upon A Chef