Friday, April 17, 2009

Pasta with Halibut and Oven-Roasted Ratatouille

This should be a guest post, as I'm stealing the real chef's hard work. While Jamie & Chria visited us in December, they made this delicious Ratatouille. I simply sat back and snapped the pictures, then savored the meal. Lucky me!

The dish idea came about because of a discussion with Jamie over Tim's and my dislike of eggplant. I don't understand why so many vegetarian dishes include eggplant, and the general public assumes a vegetarian loves two things: portabella mushrooms and eggplant. I'm sure some people do, but not me. Don't like either.

However, Jamie promised me that I would like eggplant when made in one of her favorite recipes: Pasta with Halibut and Oven-Roasted Ratatouille.

If she's cooking, I'm game to try it! I get lots of yummy recipes from her, so the trust is there. And who knows, maybe my eggplant aversion could be turned around (Jamie, when are you going to start eating tomatoes?).

I must say, she was right. Cut up small, and roasted to soft goodness, I didn't mind the eggplant. I even think I liked it! I preferred the zucchini and other veggies, but there were so many flavors mixing in this dish, I didn't really notice the eggplant. Next time someone asks if I like eggplant, I can say 'yes, when made in pasta with halibut and oven-roasted ratatouille'. This is a major step (pat, pat on my back).

This dish was delicious, filling and very healthy. Looked easy to prepare too, just a bit of prep and waiting for the roasting process to happen (I think our oven is slower than most though). For a vacation day, or weekend evening, this is a great recipe to try.

Thanks Jamie & Chria!

from Epicurious, and graciously cooked for us by Jamie & Chria

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1-pound eggplant, unpeeled, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, flattened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence*
1 12-ounce halibut fillet
2 cups medium-size pasta shells

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread next 5 ingredients on sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Push vegetables to sides of sheet. Place fish in center of sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until just opaque in center, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add roasted vegetables and enough reserved pasta cooking water to pasta to moisten; toss. Cut fish into 1/2-inch pieces; add to pasta and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.

*A dried herb mixture available at specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

More rat-a-tat-touille:
- Ratatouille Tart, from Smitten Kitchen
- Ratatouille on Polenta with Baby Greens, from Karina's Kitchen
- Seasonal Ratatouille, from Serious Eats
- The movie!

Guten appetit!


jamie said...

Hey! I eat the tomatoes in the ratatouille. :)
This post reminded me that we haven't had this for a while... time to remedy that!

Laura said...

@ Jamie - I repeat, you do not like tomatoes. Don't try to fake it. Faker-bo-faker. You realize, that other than this small blemish to your person, you are *perfect*!! :)