Ratatouille and Ditalini with Poached Eggs

24 04 2012

Ratatouille is a classic French dish with stewed veggies that can be served as a side or as a meal unto itself, usually with pasta or bread. I’ve had my eye on this Rachel Ray version and tonight was the perfect time to give it a try.

Classic ratatouille includes eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers….but I decided to put my own twist on it by using what I had in the fridge. Half an eggplant here, half a squash there, a little this and that, some pasta, an egg and snap, dinner is done!

Ratatouille and Ditalini with Poached Eggs

The following serves 2-3 (combo compliments of Rachel Ray and This Girl):

  • 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups eggplant, cubed
  • 1 heaping cup each of zucchini and yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 cups green beans, ends cut and sliced into similar size pieces as the other veggies
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and cubed
  • Half of a large onion, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • About a cup of ditalini pasta
  • 1/2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2-4 large eggs
  • A handful fresh basil leaves or parsley, torn
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Salt the eggplant and drain it in a colander for 20-30 minutes to remove the bitterness from the eggplant.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add all of the veggies, sliced garlic, rosemary and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes to the pot. Stir in 1/2 tomato-can of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the pasta, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to concentrate the flavors and cook the pasta.

Next, stir in the balsamic vinegar. Make a nest or well in the ratatouille and crack an egg into each nest (add however many you want, Rachel calls for 4 but I only did 2). Cover the pot and cook the eggs to desired doneness, about 2 to 5 minutes. Scoop the ratatouille and eggs into bowls and top with torn basil or parsley, grated parmesan cheese and salt to taste.

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