Now this may not be the Ratatouille from Disney's "Ratatouille", but don't let looks deceive you. I've been wanting to make Ratatouille for some time, and finally came across a recipe that interested me. Thank you Biggest Loser Club for your weekly emails of scrumptious (and healthy) recipes!
And don't worry, I have a goal to recreate the masterpiece featured in the computer-animated movie. But that is for another time and by other time I mean when I own a mandolin so I can slice the ingredients paper thin and with ease.
Michael, who was lucky enough to spend two years in France whilst serving an LDS mission, happened upon Ratatouille quite a few times during his time there. When I told him I was going to make it for dinner one day this week, he was excited beyond my expectations. That's when I became nervous. "What if it doesn't taste right? What if I cook it incorrectly? What if I'm not French enough?" Okay, that last one is a little over the top, because hey, I do have French blood in me. All these worries were nothing that a little ingenuity and experimentation in the kitchen couldn't fix.
To make a long story short, he loved it. He said it tasted just perfect, then cleaned his plate and distributed himself a second helping. Yes! Apparently, all I forgot was to serve it with couscous on the side. He said it's the French thing to do. So, next time I make it I will pair it with some good old-fashioned couscous. And what can hardly get more perfect, will finally reach true perfection. Until then, enjoy this super simple and super flavorful recipe of a classic French Provencal dish.
Ratatouille with Spicy Sausage
(adapted from The Biggest Loser Club)
2 (4-ounce) links spicy Italian turkey sausage
3 zucchini (yellow or green)
1 medium yellow onion
1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 red, yellow, or green bell peppers
2 large tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs. grated lemon zest
1 tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, for garnish
- Cook the sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until there is no more pink. Drain well, crumble, and set aside.
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Dice the zucchini, onion, eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Lightly coat the vegetables with the olive oil and season with lemon zest, basil, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, and garlic.
- Mix all ingredients together and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and slightly browned on the outside.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, combine with the sausage and garnish with the parsley.