Ratatouille, I think.

One of the reasons for starting this blog was so I could share some of my recipes with my friends.  I usually make things up on the fly and then when my friends want the recipe, I can't tell them how I made it.  This is something that has bothered them and they asked if I would just write it down, or better yet, blog it. So to say that I was coerced into the blog is a fair statement.  I have not had any training on how to cook besides a few things my Sicilian grandmother has taught me and trial and error.  Because I am a homeschool mom, most of my recipes are easy and something that the kids can help with. They are also very forgiving and can be cooked while doing math, history and sometimes science.

While watching Ratatouille with the children, Sammy asked what the dish was.  I did not know so I looked it up on Wikipedia.  While reading the history of the dish, I decided it would be cheep and easy to make.   So, is this a traditional ratatouille recipe? Probably not.  Is this an easy recipe that my whole family enjoys?   You bet.  I make it a lot in the winter, but we really haven't been having much of a winter.  I thought I would whip up a batch so that I could at least share it with anyone who is lucky enough to have cold,  rain or snow.

The main players
You will need:

1 large pot or dutch oven with a lid. 
salt and pepper to taste
1 large red onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of your pot
1 large red onion
3 zucchinis
4 parsnips
6 carrots
1 can tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red wine

yummy onions & garlic
 Cover the bottom of your dutch oven or a large cooking pot with olive oil.  Add garlic and chopped onions and two pinches of salt.   You want the pot to get hot so that the garlic and onions get yummy.  My girlfriends tease me about this lingo.  I start a lot of dishes with yummy garlic and onions. This is what yummy looks like.

 Peel and chop your carrots and add them to the yummy onions.  Give it a good stir and lower the heat to a medium flame.

 Peel and chop your parsnips.  Add them to your pot and give it a good stir.

Slice your zucchini in medium slices.  You want them thick enough that they stay mostly together while cooking.  

cubed eggplant
Cube your eggplant.  Add both the eggplant and zucchini into the pot and give everything a good stir.  

after liquids have been added

Now for the liquids.  Add one can of tomatoes, two cups of vegetable broth and one cup of red wine.  I also give it a sprinkling of pepper at this point.  Give everything a good stir.  Put a lid on it and lower your temperature to low.  Let simmer for at least an hour and a half.  You can easily let this simmer for several hours.  I do.  I usually make this when I have time during the day, sometimes that is noon and sometimes that is three,  and let it simmer until it is time for dinner. 

It darkens up and melds when finished. 

I serve this with bread and little shaved parmesan cheese.  You could serve it as a side dish, but I am too lazy for that.

This does make enough for two nights.  To change things up a bit on the second night, I make a calzone out of the leftovers.

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