This recipe appears in:The Food Lab Lite: Easy Summer Ratatouille with Pasta
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, juice reserved, flesh cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 small onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons picked fresh thyme leaves
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium summer squash, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 small eggplant, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 pound short robust pasta such as penne rigate, cavatelli, garganelli, or gigli
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
Combine 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a medium non-stick skillet. Heat over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is a pale golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomato strips and their juice, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves and toss. Transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and cook, tossing and stirring constantly, just until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl or plate and set aside.
Repeat step 3 with summer squash followed by eggplant.
Cook pasta in well-salted water according to package instructions. When pasta is cooked and drained, return pasta to pot. Add tomato/garlic mixture, onions, zucchini, squash, and eggplant. Add lemon juice and lemon zest to taste and add chopped basil or parsley. Toss to combine and serve immediately.