One of my favorite parts of making a new recipe is the element of surprise that occurs when my first attempt turns out differently than expected. Every now and then, the alchemy of combining ingredients and bringing them to life yields something even better than I imagined—and that makes cooking an adventure that never gets old for me. Today’s pasta was born from such a happy accident – I set out to make the perfect ratatouille recipe and in the process realized that for me it was missing main course energy. So I started experimenting and my ratatouille-style roasted vegetable pasta was born.
To me, this is the perfect recipe for late summer and into September on those weeknights that become a blur of back-to-whatever your schedule includes. It uses the best of late summer’s bounty (eggplantszucchini, peppers) that are actually best just before fall bursts onto the stage in all its golden glory. And because those vegetables are slowly cooked together to an almost stew-like consistency, this dish has the coziness that I start to crave at this time of year, right along with cozy socks and pumpkin bread.
Traditional ratatouille ingredients
For the uninitiated, let’s start by pointing out what gives this roasted vegetable pasta it’s ratatouille vibes (and no, it has nothing to do with a rat.) Ratatouille is a summer vegetable stew that originated as a French dish from Provence. It features the humble yet delicious vegetables that typically grow in gardens in late summer-early fall: zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and herbs.
In traditional ratatouille, all the vegetables are cut into pieces and cooked together with lots of olive oil until they melt together and become a bit mushy. So when I began my quest to make the perfect ratatouille recipe, that’s where I started, simply serving it with crusty bread to soak up all the juices. It was good, but for me it was missing something.
How to make ratatouille roasted vegetable pasta
What I really felt my ratatouille needed to make it not just good but craving-worthy was pasta. Specifically, chunky rigatoni cooked to al dente, which would be perfect for soaking up all that juice in the crevices. So after cooking all my ratatouille vegetables, I simply tossed them together with cooked rigatoni, added a little more olive oil and lots of parmesan shavings, and the end result was an incredibly simple summer pasta that is so much more than the sum of its parts. share. Each forkful is the perfect ratio of vegetables plus pasta – and the presentation is pretty enough for a dinner party, too.
What makes this roasted vegetable pasta so easy?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this dinner only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on prep time. Apart from the pot you use to cook the pasta, all the vegetables, herbs and spices for this dish are baked together in a single plate pan. You’ll want to shift the baking time slightly as reflected in the recipe, as eggplant, zucchini and garlic need to cook a bit longer than tomatoes, peppers and onions. By letting everything boil down to the ratatouille-like consistency, the vegetables create a sauce that easily coats each piece of pasta and makes the final dish so satisfying.
I also use high-quality canned tomatoes here, which (call me crazy) are just as good as fresh tomatoes in this dish. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely loathe the chore of cutting up fresh tomatoes, so I’m always looking for opportunities to take a canned tomato shortcut. I love San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them, but a good quality canned fire-roasted tomato will always do, too.
Tips for making it ahead and storing leftovers
One of the beautiful things about ratatouille is that it’s even better the next day—and the same goes for this roasted vegetable pasta. Just pack it in an airtight container in the fridge, then heat gently on the stove or at half power in the microwave tossed with a little extra olive oil to keep it from drying out. Perfect lunch leftovers are served.
This is also a beautiful make-ahead dish as it is just as good served at room temperature as it is hot from the oven. If you’re having friends over for dinner, go ahead and transfer this roasted vegetable pasta to your largest serving bowl, place it in the center of the table, embrace its Provence-style lightness, and let it hang out while you sip rosé and mingle . around a pre-dinner snack or two. After all, summer isn’t over yet.
Scroll on for the recipe for this Ratatouille Roasted Vegetable Pasta, then leave a rating and review to let us know how it goes and tag me Instagram if you give it a chance.