RATATOUILLE WITH SPAGHETTI

There are lots of dishes that, ever since I have found my passion in cooking, I have wished to make for myself and then, recreate in my own way… Ratatouille is one of the dishes that comes under the list. I have long since been fascinated with this one. The very name suggests freshness, vibrancy, colors and flavors. You can well understand how extremely excited I was to finally prepare this one. And the result… honestly, it was like a party in my mouth. It became one of my favorite summer dinners. I pair this with a wide variety of stuff, sometimes as a side with grilled paneer or tofu, with brown rice, sometimes with some fresh and crunchy summer salads and other times just by itself. And then, one day, I tried pairing this with spaghetti, and my inner foodie couldn’t be happier. Or my husband. We simply loved it.

I like mixing and matching my dinners, having fun with all sorts of flavors. One of my favorite pastimes is to brainstorm tasty ideas for how to mingle lots of flavors together in creative yet “un-messy” ways. On top of it, I need all (OK, most) of my recipes to be healthy and nutritious as well as delicious. This engaging dish is everything you wish for in a light and fresh summer dinner, including minimal labor and time.

In this, we’ve got whole grain spaghetti as the base of carbs, and separately roasted cherry tomatoes bursting with juices that serves as a light sauce for the pasta. You cannot skip the tomatoes, no. There is no alternative to this, period. And finally, the thing that started it all, the ratatouille. Grilled fresh veggies, the ultimate staple dish for a lazy summer’s eve. Together, this dish is a plethora of flavors and wholesomeness, with the perfect texture and bite.

As always, feel free to tweak with the ingredients and condiments according to your taste. For proper roasting, make sure your veggies are diced evenly. If you are more health conscious, replace the whole grain spaghetti with either gluten-free spaghetti or spiralized vegetable noodles, or both. The given recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6-8 garlic cloves minced
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Salt & pepper as per taste
  • Red pepper flakes as per taste
  • 10 oz Whole grain spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven at 425 degrees F.
  • On a lined baking tray, place the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, some salt and some pepper and lightly toss to evenly coat the tomatoes.
  • On another lined baking tray, spread the diced eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers and yellow onions.
  • Now in a bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Pour this mix over the veggies and toss to evenly coat the vegetables.
  • Pop both the trays in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Now to cook the spaghetti, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and olive oil to it. Cook the spaghetti until al dente.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the tray with tomatoes from the oven. And toss the veggies with a spatula and let them roast for another 10 minutes.
  • Once done, combine together cooked spaghetti, roasted tomatoes and vegetables. Add parmesan cheese, thyme, oregano and basil to it. Adjust the seasoning. Nicely mix them and serve.

Happy Cooking!!

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