The History of Ratatouille

Hello everyone, I’m glad you’re here! It’s Kathleen Raskin again, and I’m here to show you a comforting dish that you can enjoy any time of the year. Ratatouille is a dish that was originally created by the farmers of the Provençal region in present day Nice, France. You’re probably familiar with the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. Back in the day, growers were at the mercy of the seasonal availability of the vegetables they grew. Ratatouille is one of those fun, versatile dishes where the vegetables can be changed based on the whim of the cook, and still be called by the same name.


  • 2 medium eggplant, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1/4″ spears
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 ” coins
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Bunch of fresh basil
  • Crusty baguette (for serving)


TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes

PREP: 30 minutes



  1. Place eggplant in a colander, and toss with a pinch of salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Pat the eggplant dry to remove excess moisture.
  3. In large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add eggplant, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden all over (about 6 minutes), then remove the eggplant.
  4. Add remaining oil to the pot. Add onion, bell peppers, and bay leaf. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, until onion and peppers are about to turn tender.
  5. Add tomato paste and stir for about 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Stir in zucchini and cook until tender (about 4 minutes). Stir in garlic, cherry tomatoes, and oregano.
  7. Season mixture with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  8. Stir occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down.
  9. Add the eggplant back to the pot and stir to combine.
  10. Garnish with basil, and serve warm or at room temperature with baguette.

That’s it! Try the recipe for yourself, and let me, Kathleen Raskin, know how your dish came out in the comments below.