Ratatouille ingredientsIf you love food, go see the movie. It’s a sweet, meaningful story about a rat who has a gift for cooking and who ends up in a famous French restaurant. As usual, Pixar creates a beautiful animated world. There’s lots of fun voice acting, especially by Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens) and Peter O’Toole.

And I LOVE the dish ratatouille. It’s one of the first things I learned to make. What’s great about it is its flexibility. Once you have any combination of the basic ingredients you can do just about any proportions and it turns out nicely. Lots of room for creativity, which I love.

Ratatouille!The veggies are the usual Summer bumper crop: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onions, garlic. The spices are all the basics: thyme and oregano, though the mix called “Herbes de Provence” is the traditional, colorful flavor mix. Sauté it all in wonderful olive oil and, voilá! It can be served alone or with rice or on bread or stuffed in crêpes. I like to top it with some yummy mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and broil it to bubbly perfection.

The way it’s prepared in the movie looks like art and I want to try it that way someday, with rows of thinly sliced veggies lined up and drenched in some savory sauce. Even though it’s just animation, the dish looks delicious.

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