Ratatouille-Style Garden Vegetable Sauce and Fusilli
First Lady Michele Obama’s White House garden is the inspiration for this fresh vegetable-based tomato sauce and pasta.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped into a fine dice
- 1 firm eggplant, peeled and finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 can Italian tomatoes (28-32 ounces)
- A few leaves of basil, torn
- 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain fusilli
- 2 tablespoons butter
- A handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Heat the EVOO in a large pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, carrot, onion and garlic. Season with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the stock and tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher, bring the sauce to a bubble, add the basil and reduce the sauce over low heat for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta; salt the water, cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve half a cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Add the butter, a few ladles of sauce and the reserved starchy cooking water and toss to combine. Add the cheese and toss to coat the pasta. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with more vegetable sauce and parsley.
This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, visit