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The Collegian: A place of opportunity where I found home -

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April 20, 2017

Ratatouille not just a movie

Courtesy Biskuit/Flicker.com

Ratatouille – you know you’ve heard this word before. Maybe you know that this is a French word. Maybe it brings to mind the image of a Pixar rat. These are correct assumptions, but you may not know that it is also an absolutely delicious vegetarian dish. With such a fancy-sounding name, I originally assumed that it would be equally complicated to make, but it is actually quite easy.

Anyone who knows how to sauté can make this dish. Even if you just learned how to boil water, this won’t be a struggle. The best time of the year to make ratatouille is right about now, when farmers or your mom have an overabundance of veggies on their hands. Locally grown produce is available at Stop and Shop, and the more a crop is produced, the cheaper it will be.

You also do not have to use the exact ingredients listed below. This particular version was made without eggplant. Maybe you have everything in your fridge except for zucchini. No worries. This dish is super versatile. Something similar to ratatouille is served in the dining commons, made from only onions, tomatoes and squash. The one necessity is the tomatoes – they give the meal most of its juiciness, and it ties all of the flavors of the other veggies together.

Now, if you have taken a look at the recipe, you may have noticed that it says to sauté for an hour. Yes, this sounds ridiculous. However, you do not really need to cook it for that long. This dish can be made in about 30 minutes and it still be quite tasty, but the longer you cook it, the softer your veggies become and the more time the flavor has to fuse and seep into the food. If you have some time on your hands, use the full hour to cook this scrumptious recipe.

Recipe:

1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium summer squash, cubed
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp of minced garlic
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the zucchini and squash for 5 minutes. Then add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for a few minutes, adding more oil if needed. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Cook on low for about 50-60 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at adiciacc@student.umass.edu.

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