"Anyone can cook!" Disney Pixar's Ratatouille Recipe
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
This. Was. Delicious.
I have been dying to make this recipe because of just how beautiful it looked in the movie. "Ratatouille", released in 2007, is a fun and inspirational movie about a food-passionate rat named Remy who finds his way to a helpless but motivated young guy named Linguini all taking place in the heart of Paris. This dish becomes a symbol in the movie that is both heart-warming and belly warming!
I did some research on different ratatouille recipes and created my own version. It was relatively simple to make and it was a huge hit amongst the family.
First things first, one thing that goes so incredibly well with cooking, especially when cooking sauce, is the right music for the mood. So I put on Spotify's "Cafe de Paris" station, then I started the sauce. I used fresh cherry tomatoes, green pepper, and red pepper in my cast iron dutch oven so that the veggies could steam in the olive oil and seasonings and lock in so much flavor. One of the things I loved about this recipe is that it is flexible and versatile in terms of interchanging vegetables and spices. You could use carrots, any kind of potato, mini sweet peppers... get creative!
While my sauce was cooking, I started slicing my veggies. I would have greatly benefited from a Mandolin slicer but hey... a sharp knife and a quick steady hand does the trick if you don't have one. Slicing the veggies by hand makes for a more rustic look! I chose to use eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, and white sweet potato.
Once the sauce was pureed and my veggies were prepped, we assembled them in the dish and baked them for about 2 hours (seems long but it was worth the wait, I promise!)
My 3 year old, Cecelia, joined in on helping me assemble the dish before baking and she did a fantastic job!
After we assembled both dishes, we saved our left over veggies in the fridge for another night for dinner!
Here it is about half way through the cooking time after I removed the foil to check on it.
I served this dish with freshly baked french bread (a lot of bread because we are breadaholics and if you say you aren't then you are lying) that I sliced and added some butter and herbs then warmed it in the oven. And of course we had some wine because "c'est la vie".
So there you have it, our version of Remy's Ratatouille, in honor of the new Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride that will be opening in Walt Disney World's Epcot coming Summer of 2021. It will be a trackless ride in the point of view of Remy on a Parisian kitchen adventure.
If you decide to embark on this vegetable slicing, bread eating, wine drinking, rodent loving event, then I say to you in the words of Chef Gusteau "You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook... but only the fearless can be great."
-Casey, The Travelorian
DISCLAIMER: I am an "experimentative" and "adventurous" cook. My ingredient amounts are relatable to my husbands 91 year old off-the-boat Italian grandmother. "A handful of this, and few of that, a couple of these..." you get the picture, right?
For the sauce:
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 1/2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
1 Tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp of salt
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, remove stems
1-2 bay leaves
1 can of chopped tomatoes
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
For the veggies
1 medium eggplant
2-3 white sweet potatoes
2-3 yellow squash
2-3 tomatoes (base the tomato you use on the size of the other veggies so they can line up decently when you assemble them)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 325
Place a large sauce pan ( I used a cast iron dutch oven) on medium/high heat. Place olive oil, peppers, cherry tomatoes and salt in the pan. Once the veggies start to become tender, stir and cover to steam the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to open and burst, add the thyme and tomato paste. When the tomatoes have all opened up add the can of chopped tomatoes and stir. Lay the bay leaf on top and close the lid. Let simmer for about 10-15 mins. Then, you can either use an emulsifier or a blender to puree the sauce. I used my ninja blender and very slightly propped the spout open so that it didn't explode from the steam.
While your sauce is cooking, you will want to slice your veggies. I sliced everything relatively thin (using a Mandolin slicer would be ideal, if not the good old fashioned hand and sharp knife will do just fine) except the sweet potatoes I made sure to cut a little thinner than the other veggies. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need to cut each slice into quarters so that it lines up with your other veggies.
I used two ceramic quiche dishes that are about 16 inches in diameter. Pour the sauce into the bottom of each dish so that it is filled about halfway in each dish (give or take). Assemble the veggies into the pan, alternating them until you create some sort of spiral or rows. Once you've arranged your veggies, brush them with some olive oil, cover with foil and bake for 45 mins. Remove foil, and bake until veggies are tender and bubbly!
Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.