C’s Ratatouille

C's Ratatouille

I’m not sure exactly when my mom first started making ratatouille, that rustic French stew of eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers.  Maybe it was after she took a trip to Paris, leaving me and my sister at home with our dad whose culinary expertise at that time was limited to tamale pie and mac n’ cheese with hot dogs and black olives (I’m actually getting hungry thinking about these meals).  Or, maybe it was a recipe she got from one of the Time Life Foods of the World cook books lining the shelf in our kitchen.  All I know is that at some point during my childhood, ratatouille became a regular in the meal rotation.  While I didn’t love it at first (because what child in their right mind loves eggplant?!) I grew to love it because of what it represented: autumn, rainy days and my mom’s home cooking. Also, it’s really delicious. So that scene in the Pixar movie “Ratatouille” where the food critique takes one bite of the “fancy-pants” layered ratatouille and in an instant, is transported back to his childhood  where his mom serves him her version of the dish -one of the best scenes in any movie, animated or not – had particular resonance  for me. I mean I didn’t cry or anything.  Okay, maybe I had something in my eyes that caused them to water and perhaps at the same time I found myself involuntarily emitting sob like sounds, but that’s totally normal when watching Pixar movies. Am I right?

Now as an adult, ratatouille has been a go to dish of mine for years. So far, my kids seem to like it too.  Perhaps when they’re adults they’ll eat it and think fondly back to the simple eggplant stew that I, their father, made for them.    Here’s the list of ingredients and watch the video below for how I do it.

Ingredients
1-2 lbs of eggplant
1-2 lbs of zucchini
2 red bell peppers
2 onions
5-8 cloves of garlic
salt
pepper
paprika
oregano
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine

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