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Eggplant, Zucchini Ratatouille and The Rosetta Stone..

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, and recipes

ratatouille2.jpgcopyright, 2008, Maria Liberati

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking  Kitchen has been getting in the Holiday mood quite early  this year.  We have had endless meetings to discuss the hundreds of products that have been submitted for consideration in our upcoming Holiday Guide.

The ones that meet the criteria for the Holiday Guide will be the ones that we ultimately select, but they also have to be products that will make the Holiday Season enjoyable and fun for our readers and excite them just as much as they have excited us! Products that make you want to run into your kitchen just to use them! 

 Most importantly they have to enhance The Basic Art of Italian Cooking experience!

In The Basic Art of Italian Cooking Kitchen.. one of our favorite products (you will hear about  some others in posts to come) has been The Rosetta Stone language programs. We have been testing out the basic Italian and French programs..and a laptop has been set up in a section of the kitchen with the programs installed. Most of our intern chefs don’t know a word of Italian or French.

This makes a great gift for the culinary enthusiast or traveler on your list..

In The Basic Art of Italian Cooking  kitchen we always stress the importance of knowing at  least the basics of other languages, especially if you want to experience the culinary arts of another country to any of the chefs or chef interns that work with us.

The Rosetta Stone programs are entertaining but also the one thing that we think you will find amazing is that with these programs a microphone can be hooked up to the computer and when you pronounce the words you are told whether or not it is correct, so it is almost like having a live teacher!  Some of our chef interns have used the programs and after a few days are already able to communicate in basic Italian…So kudos to The Rosetta Stone for making the world just a little bit smaller. 

By the way, there are also other languages that are really important to have some basic knowledge of, who knows next year maybe we will try Japanese, Chinese, Russian.. with the Rosetta Stone it should be easy..

 Here is an easy expression that is used at the dinner table, before you eat your meal in Italy everyone says..”Buon Appetito” ( Pronounced: Bwone-ah-peh-tee-toe)

After you have mastered that expression, you can enjoy eating this recipe:

Ratatouille of Zucchini and Eggplant

*2 medium fresh eggplants

*3 medium size zucchini

*5 fresh plum tomatoes

*2 cloves of garlic

*3 tblsps of olive oil

*1 slice of  fresh onion chopped

*pinch of salt

*4 ounces of fresh mozzarella cut into cubes

*3 tblsps freshly grated  parmigiana-reggiano cheese

Wash eggplant and zucchini. Cut zucchini into 1/4 inch slices. Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch cubes. Wash tomatoes. Fillet them by removing inside liquid and seeds. Slice into thin slices.

In large saute pan, heat olive oil. Saute whole garlic cloves, chopped onions till golden. place in cut eggplants and zucchini and 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1/2 cup water. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring. Add in tomatoes, stirring and saute for another 10 minutes or until eggplant and zucchini are tender. If at any time liquid is needed add in a little water.

When done remove from heat and add in cubed mozzarella and  freshly grated parmigiana-reggiano cheese. Stir, mozzarella cheese will become stringy. Serve warm or cool. In the winter it is great hot or warm, in the summer cool. Serve with crusty bread  and  dry white wine.

Buon Appetito!

 Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene,

For more recipes get your copy of the bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at


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