Monday, October 19, 2009

Rat Patootie (Ratatouille)

I
n the movie Ratatouille, one of the characters goes off on a tipsy tangent about the French dish of the same name, saying that the pronunciation sounds like "rat patootie". Terribly cute and one of those little things that stick with you. We loved the movie, but neither of us had ever tasted ratatouille before. Until last weekend. Friends of ours invited us over, and that's what they were preparing for our dinner. Now we know what we've been missing all this time. Why did our Moms never make this for us, like the mom in the movie flashback? She prepared it lovingly for her child in order to soothe him, to make him feel better... it was comfort food. What was up with our moms? Was it simply that they weren't French? I found quite a few recipes for it in my library of cookbooks (results below). There was even an Italian version of ratatouille called Giambotta* that looked to be almost identical to what my friend made us. Alas, our moms are not Italian either. No matter, we've tasted it now and have seen how it's made. There's no going back. Endlessly versatile, hopelessly easy, and amazingly comforting; I know what will be cooking in our kitchen come the next cold snap...

Basic Ratatouille:
  • Page 202 of The Silver Palate Cookbook (anniversary edition)
  • Giambotta, pg. 263 of Moosewood Restaurant: Lowfat Favorites (borrowed)
  • Page 321 of the American Heart Association Cookbook
  • Page 198 of the "Say Ahhh!" cookbook (just don't ask)
Ratatouille Variations:
  • Baked Macaroni & Ratatouille, page 140 of Gourmet's Quick Kitchen
  • Ratatouille Pie with Basil Crust, page 158, Great Recipes For Great Weekends
  • Oven-Baked Ratatouille, page 616 of How To Cook Everything
  • Ratatouille Omelets, page 392 in The Martha Stewart Cookbook
  • Ratatouille Soup With Beans, page 77, BH&G Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes
  • Steak Sandwiches With Ratatouille, pg. 183, BH&G Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

*I wonder if that's what they called the movie when it was released in Italy?
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