This baked ratatouille is also known as confit byaldi, created by Chef Thomas Keller and the inspiration to the ratatouille dish from the Pixar movie, Ratatouille. It consists of layers of zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomatoes shingled on top of a layer of piperade sauce made of red bell pepper, tomatoes, aromatics, and herbs. This dish is simple, refreshing, and super tasty.
This ratatouille dish has been a super popular and heavily requested recipe from our YouTube channel. It's a recreation of ratatouille from the Pixar movie, Ratatouille.
Although this version is not a traditional style ratatouille, it is undeniably delicious, refreshing, and tasty. And the secret lies in the piperade sauce!
I will admit that this version is more tedious than the traditional version, but it is so worth it! It's perfect for get togethers or holiday dinners because it will definitely wow your family and friends.
If you're looking for more holiday recipes also check out our recipes for Christmas crack, cheesy Christmas tree pull apart bread, and kimchi mac and cheese! They are also good and addictive! And if you have leftover turkey, this turkey chili is to die for!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the sauce:
- Red bell pepper and tomatoes - These two are the base for making the piperade sauce, aka a sweet pepper and tomato sauce. We recommend red bell pepper because it adds to the red color. Lighter color, like yellow bell pepper is okay too. However, it will make the sauce yellower in color. As for tomatoes, we recommend Campari because they are the most flavorful, but Roma and vine tomatoes are good too.
- Olive oil - Just a little for sautéing. Olive oil is fragrant, which adds to the flavor of the sauce. However, you could also use a neutral oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Shallot and garlic - These are the aromatics that makes the piperade sauce super fragrant. If you prefer, you could use yellow onion instead of the shallots.
- Red wine - You may be surprised, but a hearty red wine helps to exponentially enhance a tomato based sauce, making it richer, tastier, and redder. We recommend using a cabernet sauvignon, but a red blend is okay too.
- Thyme and basil - These herbs adds just a touch of fruity, minty-ness to the sauce. Keep them whole for easy disposal later.
- Sugar, salt, and black pepper - For seasoning the sauce. At the end of the day, ratatouille is a very simple dish and the sauce is what makes the dish. So make sure it's well seasoned!
For the rest of the dish:
- Zucchini and squash - These squashes are cheap and plentiful, especially in the summer. They also add great colors to the ratatouille.
- Roma tomato - We recommend using Roma tomatoes for this part of the dish because Romas are usually consistent in size, which is very important for shingling in this dish. We recommend picking firm but ripe Roma tomatoes so that they are easy to slice thinly and is also flavorful.
- Chinese eggplant - We highly recommend using Chinese eggplant or Japanese eggplant because they are thinner, which is important if you want satisfying shingled layers. These eggplants are also much more tender than regular American eggplants and taste mild, not bitter at all.
- Olive oil - Just a little for drizzling on top of the veggies because like my parents always said, "A little oil or fat, makes veggies taste better."
- Salt and pepper - To lightly season the veggies.
How to make ratatouille from the movie Ratatouille
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
Preparations for the red bell pepper:
1. Char or roast the red bell peppers. You can char over open fire or roast the peppers in the oven. While the peppers are hot, place them into a heatproof bowl and cover the bowl so the peppers can steam.
Open fire method: Place the bell pepper over a gas burner or gas stovetop range. Char the entire outside (or as much as possible) of the bell pepper over medium high heat. Use a metal tong to rotate the peppers. CAUTION! Sometimes the charred skin may flake off and pop in the fire. So be very careful!
Oven method: Wrap the peppers in aluminum oil and roast at 425°F for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do put the peppers on a sheet pan in case there are drippings.
2. Peel the bell pepper skin. If you charred the bell pepper, simple rub off all the char in a bowl of water and remove as much of the skin as possible. You could also use the back of a knife. If you roasted the bell pepper, just peel off the skin. You may need a pairing knife to remove all of the skin.
3. Cut the bell pepper. Remove the stem and seeds. Then, roughly dice up the pepper into small to medium size squares. Set aside until needed.
Preparations for the tomatoes:
1. Blanch the tomatoes. Bring pot of water to a boil. While waiting, core the tomatoes and cut a shallow "X" at the bottom of each. Place the tomatoes into the pot of hot water and let them sit for about 10 to 15 seconds.
2. Peel and cut the tomatoes. Remove the tomatoes and remove the skin when comfortable to hand. Cut into small pieces and set aside.
Make the sauce:
1. Sauté aromatics. Into a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until the shallots start to become translucent. Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, thyme, and basil. Sauté for another minute.
2. Simmer. Add the red wine to the saucepan and bring everything to a simmer. Keep it at a simmer, and let it cook and reduce about ¾ of the way. Stir occasionally.
3. Blend. Using an immersion (hand) blender or a regular blender, blend the mixture until as smooth as possible. Strain the sauce through a sieve and pour it back into the saucepan.
4. Season and reduce. Season the piperade sauce with sugar, salt, and black pepper and heat it until it gently bubbles. Let the sauce cook and reduce until no longer watery and you can draw a line through the sauce without it coming together immediately. Stir occasionally.
🌟 Pro tip: We highly recommend placing a lid on the saucepan during this part of the reducing process. Because like regular tomato sauce, the piperade sauce is thick and will pop and splatter. But do keep the lid cracked to help it reduce faster.
Make the ratatouille:
1. Prepare oven and equipments. Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack. Also prepare a 12 inch oval casserole pan and an oval parchment cut out that will fit over the casserole pan.
2. Layer the sauce. Reserve ¼ cup if making the piperade "vinaigrette". Pour the piperade sauce into the casserole pan and shake the pan to level out the sauce. You could also use a small offset spatula.
3. Layer the vegetables. Shingle the zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomato in alternating patterns around the casserole pan to the center. Try to place the shingled veggies into the pan at an 30 to 45 degree angle.
🌟 Pro tip: While waiting for the pepper and tomato mixture to reduce, pre-shingle all the vegetables onto a tray to save time and make the layering process faster.
4. Final touches. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top of the shingled vegetables and lightly season with some salt and pepper. Place the oval parchment on top of the vegetables.
5. Bake. Place the casserole pan into the oven on the sheet pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Use a toothpick, fork, or knife to help you determine how cooked the veggies are. Insert the toothpick into the center layer of vegetables. The veggies should still have a little resistance, but should not be hard or raw. Also. feel free to cook to your preferred doneness.
Optional piperade "vinaigrette":
Combine the ¼ cup of piperade sauce with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix briefly. You want to keep that separated appearance.
- Pick zucchini, squash, Roma tomatoes, and Chinese eggplant, as close to each other's thickness as possible. This will help give the ratatouille a better, prettier, and more satisfying shingled layers.
- Season the piperade sauce well. This baked ratatouille and ratatouilles in general is a simple dish. The veggies will be light, sweet, and refreshing, and it will be all up the how well the sauce is made to complete the dish. So make sure to season the sauce well!
- Use a mandolin to save time. A mandolin is super handy to have and will save you lots of time when having to slice vegetables thinly. We recommend using one for the zucchini and squash. However, be VERY careful using it. The mandolin blade is super sharp!
- Cut the vegetables between ⅛ inch and ⅙ inch slices. Cutting the veggies too thick will increase the cook time and also make the dish not as aesthetically pleasing. Plus, it will make the layering process harder, since the veggies won't be as flexible.
Storage and reheating
Leftover ratatouille can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Just make sure to let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container. To reheat, simply microwave in a microwave safe container or heat it up in a pan, on the stovetop, until completely warmed through. Do note that the longer the vegetables are cooked, the more moisture will be released.
If you prefer to not use alcohol, substitute it with stock. Vegetable, chicken, or beef all works. However, you may need to season the sauce with a little more sugar, salt, and maybe even a little bit of vinegar.
Although, you could use regular eggplants, we recommend using Chinese eggplants if possible. Chinese eggplants are thinner, mild in flavor, and have tender seeds. Whereas, regular eggplants will be too thick to layer properly between the other vegetables and regular eggplants can be bitter and the skin, tougher.
The simplified explanation for the difference between the two is that, tian provençal is a popular French dish that is baked in a "tian," or an oval earthenware pan from Provence. It can be vegetarian with only vegetables, with fish, or meat, and the dish is usually arranged in a layer. The vegetarian tian provençal is made with the same veggies as ratatouille. However, ratatouille is usually made by stewing the veggies instead of baked.
Confit byaldi is technically the correct term for this baked ratatouille dish. It's a more elevated and elegant execution of the traditional ratatouille, where the veggies are prepared individually, then stewed together. Confit byaldi is Chef Thomas Keller's refined version of ratatouille, which is also the inspiration behind the dish in the Pixar movie, Ratatouille. It consists of a layer of piperade sauce with layers of shingled vegetables on top.
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For the sauce:
- 2 red bell pepper
- 1 pound tomato (campari, roma, or vine tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallot peeled and roughly cut
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- ½ cup red wine (preferably cabernet sauvignon)
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig basil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt fine salt is okay too
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Few cracks of black pepper
For the rest of the dish:
- 4-5 roma tomato cut into ⅛ inch sliced width-wise
- 1-2 squash cut into ⅛ inch sliced width-wise
- 1-2 zucchini cut into ⅛ inch sliced width-wise
- 1 Chinese eggplant or Japanese eggplant (cut into ⅛ inch sliced width-wise)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
For the red bell pepper:
- Prepare a medium heatproof bowl and a lid or cling wrap.
- Open flame (gas stovetop) method:Place the red bell peppers directly onto the stovetop range and char the bell peppers on medium high heat. Use a pair of heatproof (preferably metal) tongs to rotate the bell peppers so that as much of the skin gets charred as possible. Be careful, as the charred pepper skin can sometimes flake off and pop and turn into amber in the flame!Oven method:Preheat the oven to 425°F and wrap the red bell pepper in a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake the bell pepper for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the charred/roasted bell peppers are hot, place them into the prepared bowl and cover the bowl so that the peppers can steam. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then, completely remove the pepper skin and the charred skin by rubbing it in a bowl of water or with the back of a knife. Rinse with water to get rid of any leftover char.
- Remove the bell pepper stem and seeds. Then, roughly medium dice the bell peppers. Set aside.
For the tomatoes:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil enough water to cover the tomatoes entirely.
- While the water is heating up, use a pairing knife to remove the core of the tomatoes and make a shallow "X" cut on the bottom of the tomatoes.
- Take the boiling water off the heat and place the tomatoes into the water. Let the tomato sit for about 10 to 15 seconds, then remove the tomatoes.
- Peel the tomato skin and cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Set aside until needed.
Make the piperade sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and sauté until the shallot starts to look translucent, about 1 minute.
- Add the prepared bell peppers, tomatoes, thyme, and basil and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, add the red wine. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Let the bell pepper and tomato mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, until at least ¾ of the way reduced. Stir occasionally. Take it off the heat and discard the basil and thyme.
- Using a immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the mixture as smooth as possible. Then, strain the sauce through a sieve to ensure the sauce is smooth.
- Pour the sauce back into a saucepan and season with the sugar, salt, and black pepper. Let the sauce reduce on medium low to low heat, until the sauce no longer looks watery and you should be able to draw a line through the sauce without it coming together immediately. Taste and season again if needed. Set a side until needed.*We highly recommend placing a lid on the saucepan but keep it cracked open because the sauce will be bubbling and will likely splatter.*
Make the ratatouille:
- Place a sheet pan into the oven, on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 375°F. Also prepare a 12 inch oval casserole pan and an oval sheet of parchment paper that fits over the oval casserole pan.
- Into the oval casserole pan, add the prepared piperade sauce and shake the pan to level out the sauce.*If you wish to plate up the ratatouille like in the movie, reserve ¼ cup of the sauce for making the piperade "vinaigrette".*
- Arrange the zucchini, squash, eggplant, and tomato in alternating order in the casserole pan, from the edge to the center. Keep them tightly shingled, about ⅛ to ⅙ inch apart. You can also have the veggies pre-shingled on a tray while waiting on the piperade sauce to reduce.*Please refer to the post above for photo reference of this process.*
- Once the pan is filled, lightly drizzle some olive oil onto the shingled veggies, followed by a little black pepper and salt.
- Cover the casserole pan with the prepared sheet of oval parchment paper and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. You can check by inserting a toothpick or knife into the middle ring of veggies. The veggies should still have just a little bit of resistance, but should not be hard or raw.
- Portion and enjoy the ratatouille while it's hot with a generous amount of the piperade sauce. Or feel free to plate up the ratatouille with some piperade "vinaigrette" like Remy did in the movie!
(Optional) Piperade "vinaigrette":
- Combine the ¼ cup of piperade sauce with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix breifly. You want to keep that separated appearance.
- Wine substitution - If you prefer to make the sauce without alcohol, you can use unsalted stock instead. Vegetable, chicken, or beef stock is all okay. However, you may need to adjust the seasoning and maybe even use a little bit of vinegar.
- Preparations for the bell pepper and tomato - Personally, the steps to char the bell peppers and to peel the tomatoes helps to enhance the flavor of the piperade sauce. So we highly recommend it. However, if you prefer, you could skip the steps.
- Oval casserole pan - Depending on the types of pan used, the cook time may vary a little. Our cook time is based on using a copper oval casserole pan. If using a ceramic pan, you may need to extend the cook time by 5 to 10 minutes.
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