Slow Cooker Ratatouille Pasta ~ The iconic French stewed vegetable dish merges with its Italian neighbor creating a simple, yet hearty and full flavored dinner, all done in the slow cooker.August is one of those tricky months for me. Growing up, it was the height of summer; school didn’t resume until the Thursday after Labor Day. However, when I went to college, it was the end of summer, with classes resuming somewhere in the third week of the month. Now, college is behind me (probably, but I’ll never say never) and I have a child in elementary school. That last statement is still a bit of shocker for me. She goes back the same time I used to return to college.
This year particularly, it seems really early. I know it’s just how the days of the month fell this year. There is a feeling, or a false sense, of changing seasons for me right now. Fall is nowhere in sight. My town in Northern Utah has had an unusual amount of 90°+ heat for awhile now with no signs of cooling off. It’s only the first half of August, so summer is technically still in full swing, yet there is this feeling of Fall being in the air.Once school resumes, so does homework. There may even be after school activities to contend with. I think she’s ready to take up some sort of sport, music, or dance practice/lessons. I can only fit one in our schedule and budget, so we must pick the right one for her. Left to her, she wants to do everything, but that’s not realistic. I’m leaning towards a sport. I’m not known for my athleticism and would like her to not follow in my footsteps that way. She’s more inclined towards dance. It might end up being a coin toss, as I’ve heard that’s a great way to make big decisions.
As I’m mentally transitioning to the Fall, my dinner needs are going to shift as well, especially once we pick an activity. For those nights that are bit busier, I will need options that are easy and quick, yet still nutritious. Of course, I will still have the meals I create for TCS, but I don’t ‘blog cook’ every day. Those off days need options that are healthy and delicious.
Slow Cooker Ratatouille Pasta
- 2 1/2 cups cubed eggplant (about 1 medium sized)
- 2 1/2 cups sliced and halved zucchini (about 2 store bought sized)
- 2 medium bell peppers; chopped (red and green, but any will do)
- 1 garlic clove; minced/grated
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 10 oz dried pasta (penne, rigatoni, shells, bowties)
- 2-23 oz jars Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic sauce
- 2 cups broth (vegetable to keep it vegetarian/vegan, otherwise chicken will do)
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- Prep the vegetables and add them to the slow cooker.
- Add the dried pasta on top of the veggies.
- Sprinkle the basil in over the pasta.
- Pour both jars of sauce over the pasta, taking care to cover the pasta and allow it to filter down into the 'cracks' to the vegetables.
- Add the broth.
- Replace the lid, turn onto low and cook for 2 hours.
- After two hours, stir well, mixing everything together.
- Replace the lid and cook an additional 2 hours or until the pasta is done and ready to serve.
- Serve and if using the optional garnishes, sprinkle them over each portion and enjoy.