School is officially out for summer!
Whether, you have kids or not, I hope that the fact that summer is here, means you are filled with giddy excitement and over zealous joy!
I love summer, even though the fall and summer tend to be the busiest time of year for me. No, who am I kidding, I am busy all the time… so let’s face it summer just means I am busy with work and then get to enjoy all the other special fun summer activities, like movies in the park and lazy days by the pool… you know something to look forward to each week!
Since I love summer so much, but also realize that somewhere in the middle of June, when the last high pitched tone of “School’s out for summer!!!” disappears from the air, as the summer heat starts to settle in… that the summertime boredom blues might begin to set in.
And since I have always been passionate about kids cooking, it was, after all, how I kept busy during the long summer months of my youth, every summer, well almost every summer, of this blog, I have shared a Kids in the Kitchen series.
As in years past, I am continuing this tradition this year! So every Friday (or Saturday depending on if life get’s the best of me that week. Smile.) I will share a fun kid friendly recipe, craft or activity!
The first recipe of the summer, is a remake of a recipe I shared in the first few years of this blog, Pasta Ratatouille. This dish is a family favorite, and even though traditional ratatouille is a classic French side dish of stewed vegetables, serving the stewed veggies over pasta makes it more kid friendly! 🙂
This dish also brings me such great happiness! Of course I can’t help but think of the popular Disney movie Ratatouille when I make this. This movie is so adorable and has inspired many young kids of today to get in the kitchen and/or try new foods. In fact, several years ago, I ran into an old high school teacher of mine. She was with her family, including her son who she was pregnant with when she taught me. Of course, as many teachers (or any adult who knew you as a youth) do, she asked me what I was up to. I eagerly told her I had run off to culinary school and was trying to pursue a career in the food industry. She was genuinely happy for me and explained to her then, 7 or 8 year old son that I was a chef, just like Remy, the rat from Ratatouille! He exclaimed that he loved that movie and thought that I was SO cool. To this day this makes my heart swell with happiness!
So this summer, get the family together and transform that regular family movie night into something special. Get the kids and head to the farmer’s market to grab all the best summer veggies! Then head home whip up this pasta dish together and sit down to watch Ratatouille!
One Year Ago: Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Granita with Basil
Two Years Ago: Banana Bread French Toast with Southern Butter Pecan Syrup
Three Years Ago: Greek Chicken Pita Pockets
Four Years Ago: Chili Meatball Subs
Five Years Ago: Memphis Style BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Six Years Ago: French Onion Pork Chops
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Serves 6
1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 eggplant, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 (24 ounce jar) marinara sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Parmesan, for topping (omit for vegan)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, toss cooked pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini and yellow squash. Cook for 3-4 to minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add marinara sauce and Italian seasoning to the vegetables in the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 -10 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Transfer to a bowl and top with grated Parmesan.
Note: This recipe is a great way to use up leftover ratatouille (a French ‘stew’ that makes a beautiful side dish). If using the leftovers this meal comes together in mere minutes and is extremely cheap.
Previously shared on Kitchen Concoctions September 2011
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Dinner n’ a Movie: “Elf” and Buddy the Elf’s Maple Syrup Spaghetti
Dinner n’ a Movie: Big Hero 6 and Four Cheese “Baymax” Pizza
Read It, Eat It: Green Eggs and Ham (Pesto and Spinach Egg Scramble and Green Eggs and Ham Treats)
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