I’m a sucker for ratatouille, as you can tell: Ratatouille with White Beans, Ratatouille with Butternut Squash, Grilled Chicken with Ratatouille, Classic Ratatouille. Here’s yet another spin on my favorite combination of summer vegetables. And this recipe, my friends, from the newest Weight Watcher cookbook, Dinners in a Flash, is nothing less than rock-star ratatouille.
I don’t know who is developing Weight Watcher recipes these days, but to my mind they’ve crossed the line from typical no-fat, no-taste diet recipes to vibrant, full-flavored, no-diet-here Mediterranean fare. The only difference I could find between this recipe and one in a non-diet cookbook is the use of slightly less olive oil in the ratatouille preparation. That, and smaller, much smaller pasta portions. Hey, when you’re watching your weight, you’ve got to pay the piper somewhere along the line.
Here’s one thing that bugs me about recipes in Weight Watcher cookbooks, and I admit to nit-picking here. Why do they develop recipes that serve 6 people? Who lives in that big a household anymore? No one I know. What’s a typical American family of 4 (or in my case, only 2) to do with this recipe?
Here’s what I did: I cooked only enough pasta for two of us, and I saved the ratatouille leftovers for tonight, when I’ll serve them with a grilled chicken breast. Ratatouille clocks in at about 2 WW SmartPoints per cup, so have at it! And by the way, it’s even better the next day.
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 (14-1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. capers, drained
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated linguine
6 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, capers, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil.
Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions and drain. Divide pasta evenly among 6 plates and top each serving with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
WW SmartPoints per serving: 6 (3/4 cup pasta, 1 1/2 cups vegetables and 1 Tbsp. cheese)