Classic French Ratatouille with Butter Toasted Orzo


This French ratatouille with butter toasted orzo is a combination you'll definitely want to add in your arsenal of delicious recipes. Ratatouille is a stew that doesn't rely on cheese, butter, cream or meat to be comforting. That's why, I find this to be the perfect comfort food for both winter and summer months. Both of these dishes require common ingredients and they're very easy to make. While the orzo is rich and buttery, the ratatouille is light, herby and fresh, which makes this combination work flawlessly.


If you're looking for a dish that will make you feel like you're vacationing in a beautiful rustic cottage in the south of France, you're in the right place!



I find this recipe to be a great one for date nights or family cooking because of the amount of veggie chopping involved. I love the idea of people bonding around food, and in this case, over some fragrant herbs and fresh veggies.


Ratatouille can be eaten by itself but I find that it's way too low-calorie to make a whole filling meal. So you can give my orzo recipe a try or serve your ratatouille with some fresh sourdough bread, some rice or other type of pasta of your choosing. This ratatouille works equally well, as a pasta sauce, especially with long pastas like spaghetti or linguine.


If you're avoiding carbs, another easy and absolutely delicious way of making use of this ratatouille is by pouring it in a baking dish, cracking some eggs on top and popping it into the oven and voila: you have a perfect low-calorie, high protein and healthy meal.



Down below, you'll find some important tips and tricks that will help you realise this recipe with ease and help answer some potential questions you may have.


Tips and Tricks:

  • This is a very easy recipe to cook, the only thing you'll need to pay attention to is the prepping beforehand because you'll need all the veggies to be prepped separately.

  • If your grated tomatoes were too watery, the added ½ cup of water might not be needed. So in the end, if you find your ratatouille is too watery but your vegetables are cooked through, remove the lid and let the excess water evaporate.

  • Concerning the chop of the veggies, you can go with cubes or half moons. As long as they are not too different in size, the shape won't matter. But beware: If you have too big or too small pieces, you'll end up with some overcooked and some undercooked pieces of veg.

  • The orzo recipe uses butter but for a vegan version, you can always replace it with olive oil!






Bon Appétit!


RATATOUILLE:

PREP TIME: 20 MIN

COOK TIME: 35 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 55 MIN

SERVES: 4


ORZO:

PREP TIME: 5 MIN

COOK TIME: 15 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN

SERVES: 2-4



Ingredients:


For the orzo:


35 grams of butter (or 2,5 tbsp of olive oil for the vegan version)

1 cup or 240 grams of orzo

2 cups or 500 ml water (or chicken or vegetable stock)

1 tsp salt

Pepper to taste


For the ratatouille:


3 tbsp of olive oil

1 large yellow onion

1 small red onion

2 eggplants

2 courgettes/zucchini

2 tomatoes, grated

2 red bell peppers

2 green bell peppers

A small can of plum tomatoes (425 ml can)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

A bay leaf

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp rosemary

1 tsp brown sugar

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp crushed black pepper

½ cup of water


Directions:


For the orzo:


1. Heat up your water or stock in a pot, it should be hot but not boiling.

2. In another pot, heat the butter or olive oil on medium-high heat,

3. Add the orzo, stir frequently until they turn golden brown in colour.

4. First add 1/3 of your water/stock and salt, wait until the noodles absorb the liquid. Repeat this process until all of your water is absorbed.

5. Take it off the heat, cover and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


For the ratatouille:


1. Wash all your veggies and begin preparing them by first dicing the onions and mincing the garlic then grating your tomatoes and chopping the bell peppers, courgettes and the eggplants. All veggies must be placed separately in different bowls for this little mise-en-place.

2. Once you have everything set up, in a large pot, heat up a little olive oil on medium high heat. Put the eggplants in, let them cook and get slightly golden brown on the outside for about 6-7 minutes. Remove them from the pot, set them aside and repeat the same thing for the courgettes.

3. In the same pot, heat up the olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the bell peppers, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and oregano into the pot. Keep sautéing them for about 5-6 minutes, until the bell peppers have softened.

4. Add the pre-cooked eggplants and courgettes along with the plum tomatoes, grated tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and water.

5. Mix everything together, cover it with a lid and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until all your veggies are soft and cooked, but not disintegrated.





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