Pasta with Ratatouille-Style Vegetables
This pasta with ratatouille-style vegetables was originally published in October 2012. The post has been updated as of August 10, 2017 with new photos, text and a slightly modified and improved recipe!
Good news! Today we are taking another walk down memory lane with this delightful end-of-summer pasta dish. Or should we say start of fall pasta dish??? Because holy moly, I am sooooo ready for sweet, cozy fall. Crisp weather, colorful leaves, boots and scarves (!!). Oh it’s the most magical time of the year!
But first. First we shall savor every last bit of summer. And let’s be real – if you live in hot and humid North Carolina, summer weather will 100% be continuing through at least September. I think I have some time before my beloved fall officially arrives.
So! Today we talk this pasta with ratatouille-style vegetables, which is perfect for the transition between the two seasons. It’s packed to the brim with delicious veggies, like zucchini, bell pepper, onion and eggplant. There’s plenty of fresh herbs, whole wheat pasta and a flavorful tomato-filled sauce. It’s a pasta party all up in here!
This dish is definitely more on the lighter side when it comes to pasta, but is also still pretty darn substantial. Which I think is totally perfect for this time of the year.
Now, after some additional testing, I made a few minor modifications to the original recipe that I posted way back in the day. But the most fun change? Adding the option to use some wine instead of broth in the sauce (but you can absolutely just use the broth if you’d like!).
The wine adds SO MUCH flavor to the final dish. And if you use a nice and spicy cabernet? Oh me, oh my, it is sure delicious in the finished pasta. Plus, you know, you can also pour yourself a glass to enjoy while you cook dinner. Relax to the max!
So, let’s go ahead and shimmy on along to a few tips & tricks for the recipe.
- Let’s talk the fresh herbs! The recipe calls for plenty of fresh thyme, which simmers in the sauce. I personally have both fresh thyme and oregano in my garden so I like to make this with one teaspoon of each. So good! My point being … use whatever you like / have on hand!
- As the sauce simmers, the whole tomatoes will soften and they will be much easier to break up a bit with your wooden spoon. I just break them up slightly when they are first added to the pot and then continue to do so as they cook down.
- To keep this dish vegetarian / vegan, be sure to use low-sodium veggie broth if you are going the broth route.
- Along those lines, to keep this dairy free / vegan, don’t top with the cheese and instead top with more fresh herbs!
- And finally! Don’t feel like using your oven to broil the zucchini and eggplant? Pop em’ on the grill instead. Also fantastic.
So. Are you looking for more carb-y dinner ideas? This kale and eggplant baked ziti is also pretty sweet as an end-of-summer pasta bake! Or you know, anytime of the year pasta bake. Just sayin’!
Yield: about 6 servings
Pasta with Ratatouille-Style Vegetables
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Total Time:50 minutes
Light yet filling, this pasta with ratatouille-style vegetables is perfect for summer to fall! Filled with colorful veggies, whole wheat pasta and fresh herbs!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- pinch of sugar
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes
- ¾ cup dry red wine or low-sodium broth of choice
- 2 baby eggplant, sliced lengthwise about ¾-inch in thickness
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise about ¾-inch in thickness
- ⅓ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 12 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta (or another similar shape)
- freshly grated parmesan cheese or crumbled goat cheese, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the broiler. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and both peppers. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the thyme, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, sugar and tomatoes (with their juices). Use a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes, then add in the wine (or broth). Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer, turning down the heat as needed and stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld (it will also reduce a bit during this time).
- Meanwhile, place the sliced eggplant and zucchini on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, brushing both sides of the veggies with olive oil and sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper. Broil for 5 minutes, then flip the veggies over. Continue to broil for about 5 additional minutes, until tender. Cut the veggies into chunks, then add to the sauce. Continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, then add to the finished sauce. Toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and / or red pepper flakes to taste (I usually add a touch more salt and some red pepper flakes to kick up the spice).
- Serve as desired! (I like to top with even more fresh basil!)
Adapted from Williams and Sonoma Weeknight Fast & Fresh.