Too little time, but too much thyme?
It was 5 o’clock and I hadn’t really thought about dinner. I took inventory of the fridge, but there wasn’t much except a notable amount of fresh thyme sprigs. I was in the mood for something light and packed with delicious vegetables. I pieced it together quickly… thyme + vegetables = ratatouille (rah-tah-two)…pasta! Dinner was ready in less than one hour.
Traditionally ratatouille has been a stewed vegetable side dish. There are many ways to serve it now, thanks to Julia Child, Joel Robuchon, and Thomas Keller. I’m hoping to be added to that list of names (in my dreams) with my ratatouille pasta dish.
I prefer to always roast bell peppers with some olive oil, salt, and pepper before adding them to a dish. The roasted bell peppers are perfectly tender and my olfactory nerves are convinced they are more delicious than its un-roasted counterpart. I serve this over farfalle (which to my surprise actually means butterfly, not bow-tie in Italian) pasta. The vegetables are soft, delicious, and covered in a simple tomato sauce (one that is not lacking in garlic or onions) seasoned well with fresh and dry herbs.
- 1 lb farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch squares
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch squares
- 1 eggplant, quartered and sliced into ¼ inch thick pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 zucchini, sliced into ⅛ inch thick pieces
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into ⅛ inch thick pieces
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
- 24 oz pasta sauce
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Bring a pot of water to boil, then season with salt. Cook the pasta for 7-8 minutes. Drain the water, then rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the orange bell pepper, red bell pepper, ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast for 10 minutes, then set aside. On a separate lightly greased baking sheet lined with foil, spread the eggplant out evenly and roast in the 400F degree oven for 10 minutes, then set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash, thyme, basil, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, until the zucchini and yellow squash are soft.
- Add the roasted bell peppers, eggplant, and pasta sauce, then cook for 10 more minutes.
- Serve over the pasta, and top with the Parmigiano Reggiano.