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Author Notes: I don't like eggplant. I'm also not the biggest fan of zucchini. However, I wish I loved them both. This recipe, which is my take on the classic ratatouille with a spicy kick (hence the 'wow'!), was one of my attempts to train myself to like the above vegetable. I'm slowly coming around to zucchini. Eggplant... we'll see. However, with the long slow simmer, both vegetables practically melt into this great soup! I also use this recipe as a pasta sauce. —CarlaCooks
Serves 8 as a soup, 6 as a pasta sauce for an entrée
- 2 zucchini
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or a combination)
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 - 1 teaspoons dried red chili flakes, to taste
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 ounces tomato paste/concentrate (one of the little tins of paste)
- 3/4 pound spiral-shaped pasta (fusilli or rotini), if you are making the wow-atouille as a pasta sauce
- Chop the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and onion into small pieces, about 1/2 inch cubes. Add the vegetables to a large pan (I used a Le Creuset bouillabaisse pan).
- Seed the tomatoes, placing the seeds and accompanying juices into the pan. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, about 1/2 inches. Add to the pan.
- Finely mince the garlic and add to the pan. Season the vegetable mixture well with salt and pepper. Add the chili flakes (a little goes a long way since this will be simmering for a while!).
- Pour in the wine, water, and olive oil into the pan. Toss the vegetables well so everything is coated in the seasoning and liquids. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for a minimum of 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. The vegetable will release a lot of liquid.
- Add the tomato paste/concentrate 10 minutes before serving, mixing to incorporate. Check and adjust the seasoning.
- If using as a pasta sauce, cook the pasta until 1 minute short of al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the wow-atouille. Toss to coat the pasta and let it cook for another minute. Serve with some full-fat cheese (I love Havarti). If serving as a soup, serve hot or cold with fresh bread.