Spicy Ratatouille with Orzo – an outstanding vegetarian meal. A delicious, nutritious and eye appealing way to add a vegetarian option to your weekly meal plan for Meatless Monday.
First of all don’t let the title, Spicy Ratatouille, intimidate you. People are sometimes put off from trying the simplest dishes just because of a fancy name. I say check the recipe out first before making your mind up on that one, you may be pleasantly surprised.
This spicy ratatouille (pronounced rat-a-too-ee) is a very simply, a very old French recipe for stewed vegetables with garlic and herbs.
What’s intimidating about that? Not a thing and neither is the preparation method.
Many people these days are cutting back on meat consumption, even if it is for one or two meals a week. We often have a Meatless Monday Meal around here, and this simple dish is a great choice.
This is shown served over orzo, which is just small rice shaped pasta, but you could use any pasta if you like or rice too, if you prefer. Rice, or gluten-free pasta, can easily adapt this recipe as a gluten-free option as well.
Especially as a lunch meal, you could just serve it with slices of French Baguette to dunk in the sauce. That’s often how I like to enjoy any leftovers the next day
Like this Spicy Ratatouille recipe?
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- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 medium red onion finely diced
- 6 large ripe tomatoes, diced or about 4 cus canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 1 tsp chili flakes more or less to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil for sautéing the vegetables
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 large zucchini
- 2 large bell peppers red or yellow
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 ½ cups orzo pasta
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and red onion and cook for just a few minutes to soften the onions.
Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper and chili flakes to the pan and sauté just until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Chop the eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers into about a one-inch dice. Sauté each one of the vegetables separately over medium high heat for about 4 minutes or until they just begin to soften, adding a little of the ¼ cup of olive oil to the pan with each one. It is best to sauté the eggplant last, as it will absorb most of the olive oil.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 3 quart/liter casserole dish, evenly cover the bottom with about 1/3 of the cooked tomato mixture. Next, evenly scatter half of each of the sautéed vegetables on top of the tomato layer, followed by half of the chopped basil.
Spoon another 1/3 of the tomato mixture over the vegetables, then add the remaining half of the sautéed vegetables evenly on top.
Sprinkle on the remaining chopped basil and finally spoon on the remaining cooked tomato mixture.
Cover the casserole and bake for 30 minutes before removing the lid and baking for another hour.
Cook the orzo to al dente as directed on the package. Drain well and toss with a little drizzle of olive oil.
Serve the ratatouille over the cooked orzo.
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