Eggplant is sautéed with zucchini, squash and tomatoes and seasoned with garlic, red pepper and balsamic vinegar. The oval pasta orzo provides a slightly crispy base as this modern day take on ratatouille is baked golden in the oven. This recipe comes to us from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.
- 1 pound orzo
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 squash, quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 15oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt, to taste
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup fontina cheese, grated
Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Cook the orzo according to the package directions, or until it reaches al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid, drain and set aside.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the eggplant and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the eggplant has begun to soften. Toss in the zucchini and squash and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes with their juices to the skillet. Season with red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the squash tomato mixture to reduce for a minute or two, until some of the tomatoes’ acidity has softened to preference.
Add the cooked orzo and the reserved cooking liquid. Stir until everything is well incorporated.
Preheat the broiler and smooth the surface of the orzo mixture in the skillet. Cover the orzo ratatouille evenly with the Parmesan and fontina cheese. Place the skillet in the oven for about five minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.