Monday, November 11, 2013



I am always looking for new side dishes to enjoy with our regular pork chops or chicken nights. I was at a friend's house for dinner and she served Ratatouille. "Like the one from the movie?" I asked her. Yep, that's the one! She looked up a recipe online after seeing the movie and found it to be a family favorite. I was shocked when I made it later that week and my husband loved it! It is now a regular rotation in our house.


1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 c minced garlic
1-2 TBS olive oil
2 med eggplants, thinly sliced
2 med zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 med bell pepper or 4 small sweet peppers, cored, seeded, & thinly sliced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 TBS Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/2 c Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Sommer's Secret: There are lots of ways to make this dish. You can:
- Dice up all the veggies in big chunks and throw them in the pan to bake.
- Slice and Layer the ingredients (like I'm doing in this recipe)

- Add any other veggies you might have (I added fresh Spinach this time)
- Get really fancy like my husband and make it look like it did in the movie. Like this:

(he used a mandolin to get all the slices perfect and layered the ingredients in the saute pan he started the sauce in).

Either way it turns out really yummy.

1. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onions into roughly 1/4 inch slices.

Sommer's Secret: Do less at first. You can always slice more veggies if you need. You'll be surprised at how a little goes a long way.

2.  In a sauce pan, soften garlic ( and 1/4 chopped onion if you'd like) in 1 tablespoon olive oil. a

3. Add tomato paste and seasonings (mixture will be thick)

Sommer's Secret: If you use an oven proof saute pan you can begin layering in your veggies in the same pan and bake.

4. Spread the mixture on the bottom of  a roasting pan.

Sommer's Secret: I wanted to make a big lasagna size for dinner so I only spread a little of the sauce in the bottom of the pan reserved the rest to be distributed in the layers of veggies.

5. Layer your sliced vegetables seasoning to taste as you go along.

I added some sauce here,

and a little cheese so there would be a some in the middle.

I threw in some Fresh Spinach I had

and finally piled in the rest of the cut veggies

6. Sprinkle Salt and Pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil (optional).

7. Cover with foil or parchment paper.

8. Bake at 400° for 45- 60 minutes until veggies are fork tender.

9. Add shredded cheeses to the top

10. Broil until  brown and bubbly.

Sommer's Secret:  Ratatouille isn't traditionally served with cheese but I just couldn't resist. It's super yummy either way and is a great alternative to a heavy starch for dinner.

This night we served it with baked chicken. It's super yummy with pork chops too!

Sommer's Secret:  Ratatouille is even better then next day. Store it in a container with an elevated bottom to allow the extra juices from all the veggies to drain. Even if you don't it's still just as delicious even if it's a little soggy.

This is how my hubby's turned out. (Served with out cheese)