Confit Byaldi or Ratatouille

Standard

This is so incredibly good served over fettuccine – the original recipe can be found here – and I have to be honest and say I generally don’t like zucchini-heavy dishes, or cooked tomatoes. It’s kind of time-consuming to make, because there is a lot of chopping involved, and a lot of cooking time, but it’s worth it!

serves about 3-4, depending on how piggy you are (I am piggy).

3-4 mixed bell peppers

Halve the peppers, deseed, place on foil-lined sheet and bake at 450 F for about 20 mins, until the skin sort of bubbles and can be removed easily. Let the peppers cool a little and the peel them. Dice pretty fine and set aside.

2-4 zucchini, summer squash, whatever mix you like
3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes

Slice the veggies into thin disks – about 1/16th of an inch. I have a mandolin so this is no problem for me, but if you’re using a knife and aren’t a pro chef, slicing it thicker is fine, just keep the pieces consistent. Place the squash/zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss (this will let some of moisture out). Set veggies aside.

1 large yellow onion
2 tbsp oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig of thyme

Finely dice the onion and saute with the oil and garlic for about 10 mins on med-low heat till soft, but not browned. Add the  tomato and herbs, continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 15 mins). Add the diced peppers, cook another couple minutes, season liberally with salt and pepper and removed the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Keep 2 tbsp of this mixture aside for the vinaigrette. Heat your oven to 275 F. Spread the mixture into a baking dish, skillet or other suitable oven-proof thing. A skillet is best, because if you need to pop it on the stove to quickly reduce the liquid, you can. On top of the mixture (“piperade” is the proper term), make a pretty overlapping pattern of squash and tomato. Don’t worry if you have a lot of leftover veggies – you can just pile them up.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp thyme leaves (fresh)

Mix together and sprinkle over your dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 2 hours. Remove foil and bake another 30 mins. If there is still a lot of liquid in the dish, you can put it on the stove and bake it off (if you’re serving this with pasta, I personally don’t think it’s a problem having a bit of extra liquid – it still tastes amazing). This dish is a good make-ahead, too: to reheat, place it under the broiler on low and cook till browned. Serve with the following vinaigrette:

Reserved piperade
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves.

I have a photo around somewhere – will post eventually! I’m thinking about adapting this recipe to suit a crockpot – could be disastrous, could be awesome, we’ll find out tonight.

Here’s a rough nutritional breakdown (not accurate because the amounts I use for veggies and stuff is always slightly different, and I used pureed tomato this time. Also, this includes a 4 oz serving of pasta per person).

 

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