Friday, May 23, 2014

5/23/14 ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

It is hard to mention ratatouille without thinking of the cute little rat from the movie with the same name.  The truth is, there really is a dish called ratatouille.  It is a French stew of vegetables, sometimes served with pasta and meat.  For my dish we will use the traditional zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and a few other vegetables that are not so traditional but taste good.  Sometimes we think that just because a dish has a fancy name it is hard to make.  Ratatouille sounds hard to make but it is not.  The hardest part  of the dish is the amount of vegetables you will have to cut up, but in the end it is worth it.  So impress your friends and tell them you know how to make Ratatouille.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    sauté pan,  medium stock pot with lid, a strainer, a sauce pan, a cutting board and  2 medium
    mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage (This recipe will make 10-12 servings)
16 oz         Italian Turkey Sausage, ground
                  -You can use any kind of italian sausage you want, but I like turkey sausage.  It has less
                 calories and fat.  If you cannot find ground turkey sausage, just buy the links.  Cut through
                 the outer casing of the sausage links and remove.  You will be left with the ground meat.
16 oz.        Orecchiette Pasta, Dried
                  -Orecchiette is Italian for little ear.
1 ea.          Red Onion, Medium Diced, (1 Medium Sized Onion)
1 ea.          Zucchini, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Zucchini)
1 ea.          Yellow Squash, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Yellow Squash)
1 ea.          Eggplant, Medium Diced (1 Small Eggplant)
1 ea.          Red Bell Pepper, Medium Diced (1 Large Pepper)
1 ea.          Portobello Mushroom Cap, Medium Diced (1 Large Cap)
                 -Remove stem before cutting and discard.
4 ea.          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced
1 tsp          Garlic, Minced, Fresh
1 Tbl         Tomato Paste
4 oz.          Red Wine, Any Flavor
1 tsp          Kosher Salt
1 tsp          Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Oregano or Marjoram, Dried
2 Tbl.        Olive Oil
8 ea.          Basil Leaves, Fresh, Chopped
                 -Layer the leaves of basil one on top of the other.  Cut into thin strips and then chop.

3. Pre-heat sauté pan.  Cook ground sausage.  Make sure to mix and break the meat into little pieces
    while it cooks.  Put ground sausage in your strainer to remove the excess fat when it is thoroughly
4. Cut up onions, peppers and garlic and set aside in a bowl.
5. Dice up remaining vegetables and mix together in a bowl.
6. Pre-heat stock pot on high.  Add olive oil.  Add peppers, onion and garlic.  Turn pot to medium high
    heat.  Cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
7. Add remaining vegetables, spices, wine and half of the chopped basil.
8. Simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes covered.
9. Cook pasta following the directions on the box and drain
10.  When ratatouille is done mix in cooked sausage and cooked pasta.
11.  Garnish with basil.

This is a great recipe to make for all of your friends and family.


- ChefElla

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