There’s something about on-screen food that just looks…better somehow and it gets bonus points if it’s animated. Perhaps it’s the notion that it’s somehow unattainable to us mere mortals out in non-celluloid land that adds to its yum factor, but it definitely looks more delectable. But in reality, even though these dishes have been styled, colour corrected and edited to visual perfection, they’re usually quite easy to recreate in the comfort of your own home.  

One standout movie for all food-lover is the Disney movie, Ratatouille. Anyone who loves food as much as Remy the rat did, deserves the opportunity to call themselves a Chef. So while we don’t recommend getting a rat to do your cooking in real life, we have tried to bring you a taste of his skills and in particular, the titular dish, Ratatouille. If it could bring a smile to the face of grumpy food critic Anton Ego, we’re sure it can work its magic on you too.

Ratatouille is a summertime French classic. Packed with fresh produce like aubergines, zucchini, squash and peppers, and served up in a riot of colour, this is a perfect dish to make vegetables the star of the show, and if you skip the cheese, this is even a great dish for vegans. Though it was once considered a peasant dish, the humble Ratatouille has moved away from the family table and into the gourmet spotlight, so now is your chance to bring it home once again.

Image Credits: Ratatouille/Disney Studios

 

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms tomato puree
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or to taste
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Mascarpone or Mozzarella cheese to taste

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  • Pour tomato puree into a baking dish.
  • Drop the minced garlic and chopped onion into the sauce
  • Stir in one tablespoon of olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
  • Trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini and squash and with a mandolin or a knife cut them into 1-2 cm slices.
  • Core the red and yellow bell peppers and cut them into thin, vertical slices.
  • Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the centre. 
  • Overlap the slices a little to display the colours, this is your chance to make it look beautiful!
  • Drizzle more olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Cover the vegetables with parchment paper trimmed to size.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Optional step: Dollop with a few spoons of mascarpone or slices of mozzarella and return to the oven for 5 minutes until it's melted.