Ratatouille is one of the great vegetarian main dishes.
Its origins are in southern France – Nice, specifically.
Filled with a variety of vegetables, swimming in an herbed tomato sauce, it feels both luxurious and deeply comforting.
In this recipe, I’m sure to name the colors of each vegetable, both for clarity and because I want to make the point of how truly colorful this dish is.
1 purple eggplant, large dice
1 green Italian squash [zucchini], large dice
1 yellow onion, large dice
1 jar peeled red tomatoes with juice
1 jar Goya Sofrito*
1 jar Goya Hogoa**
10 cloves of garlic, cut into thirds
T Herbes de Provence
t red pepper flakes
t dried shallots
Roast the eggplant, zucchini and onion in a 400* oven for 50 minutes.
Take it from the ultimate French cook himself:
“The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself. -Joel Robuchon
Add the bases of Sofrito / Hogoa to a heavy bottomed pan, and cook on medium heat.
Add the jar of peeled tomatoes and juice.
You can also roast a few tomatoes along with the other vegetables if you prefer to use roasted instead of peeled, jarred ones.
Once the other vegetables are done, add them to the pan.
Because the Sofrito contains green peppers, I don’t add them as a separate component, but as a substitution, or to enhance the dish, you can also roast a green pepper along with the other vegetables.
This is a stew, and the consistency should resemble that.
That’s what makes these bases especially good to use, because they offer that thickness.
This dish can be eaten as is, or on top of rice, or pasta.
It’s perfect for this time of year, when the weather begins to get cooler, and you want something cozy and comforting to eat.
You could easily double or triple the recipe and freeze some to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter.
As the recipe is written here, it makes a quart and a half.
*In this case, Sofrito is a jarred tomato cooking base made by Goya, which contains green peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic and olive oil. It’s used in many Spanish dishes – especially soups, stews and to flavor beans. I had this on hand, and while I normally wouldn’t add cilantro to this French stew if adding ingredients one by one, it’s hardly noticeable for the extra flavor boost the rest of this base gives the dish.
**Hogoa is also made by Goya and similar in consistency to their Sofrito, containing only tomatoes, onions and spices.