Spicy Bacon Ratatouille or O’GEM ToP

Sometimes the dishes that get thrown together simply from what you have in your fridge (sometimes trying to use things before they go bad) can be awful and other times it can become a new favorite. This recipe falls into the later category.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when it became a fast favorite of my sister’s because it starts with bacon.

BACON!

I mean (aside from those that don’t eat pork) who doesn’t love bacon?

If you use the right type of bacon, this gluten free and dairy free dish, can be Whole30 as well. And if you want to put it over pasta, it can simply be a yummy, normal meal. This made up four-six serving, according to your appetite.

Spicy Bacon Ratatouille

  • 1/2 lb. of Bacon
  • 1 Onion
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Cups Eggplant
  • 2 Cups Mushrooms
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 small can of Tomato Paste
  • 1 t Dried Parsley
  • 2 T Dried Basil
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch Dried Red Pepper Flakes

Roughly chop your veggies. Then in a large skillet, cook the slices of bacon on medium high heat, pulling out the cooked bacon and resting it on a paper towel. Once your bacon is all cooked, toss the onion, garlic, and eggplant directly into the hot bacon grease. Cook covered on medium heat for a few minutes until the eggplants soften up, then add in the mushrooms. Cook covered for a few minutes more while the mushrooms soften. Then add in the spices (if you like stuff really spicy increase the size of your pinch of the red pepper flakes), a few cranks of black pepper, the can of tomato paste, and can (tomato paste can that is) full of water as well. Turn the heat to medium low for a few minutes letting everything incorporate, then toss in the red bell pepper. Stir and cover. You may want to add in a bit more water if you like your sauce loose. Once the bell peppers are a bit soft, your Spicy Bacon Ratatouille is done!

Another name for this, or a mnemonic is O’GEM ToP, which is the order of the veggies you cook: Onion, Garlic, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Tomato, bell Pepper.

If you are doing a classic Ratatouille you can remember that as EZ-POT: Eggplant, Zucchini, Pepper, Onion, Tomato.

I didn’t put Zucchini in this Spicy Bacon Ratatouille, simply because I didn’t have one in the fridge, but I might give it a try next time, throwing it in at the same time as the mushrooms.

I served the dish on fettuccine, which held the sauce well (and was in my pantry). I also used a cup of pasta water to loosen up the sauce, a la Nigella Lawson.

With the leftovers, I did a stove top “baked” egg. Which was a truly luscious lunch.

As they say, have it your way, make it your own and enjoy!

 

 

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