In Italy, Le Pescerie (Fish Shops) are only open in the morning. We’ve been wanting to make fish, but haven’t been able to get up early enough.
Instead, tonight I made my very own version of Italian ratatouille (currently Bobby’s favorite Disney movie). This dish is filling enough to be the main course, and it’s loaded with nutrients. I used tomatoes, zucchini, and radicchio, but some people use eggplant instead of radicchio. I taught myself how to make ratatouille through trial and error. The key is to have equal parts of each vegetable.
Bobby and both had seconds and we finished it up (probably could have eaten more); as an appetizer you could probably feed three with this recipe.
Italian Ratatouille Recipe | How to Make Ratatouille
Ingredients (for 2 main dish servings or 3 appetizers)
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 zucchini
- 1 smallish radicchio
- Several garlic cloves, finely chopped OR a bit of finely chopped onion
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil (optional)
- Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Roughly chop the vegetables. I halved the zucchini, then sliced it.
- Make layers in a large pot – the order doesn’t particularly matter, but I like to start with the tomatoes. After the first layer of tomatoes, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and oregano, as well as some of the garlic cloves OR onion. Make another layer of radicchio, add more salt, pepper, oregano, and onion. Repeat for the zucchini. Then continue with more tomatoes. I was able to have two layers of each veggie.
- Add about 2 cups of water.
- Heat on very low heat for about 1.5 hours.
- Serve in bowls – you may want to let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes; it gets quite hot.
- Sprinkle with olive oil OR grated cheese (optional).
Bobby liked this Italian ratatouille with olive oil and I liked it with parmesan cheese.
What would you top it with?
A new breakfast gnocchi recipe, straight from my Italian kitchen…
Gnocchi Hash Browns Recipe
- 1 cup cooked Gnocchi
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- Dash of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- (Optional – ketchup or maple syrup)
- Saute onions in olive oil for 1 minute.
- Add the gnocchi. Stir until crispy and slightly brown. (Very important!)
- Serve with salt and pepper and a bit of ketchup OR maple syrup.
Make sure you saute the Gnocchi for long enough (at least 3 – 4 minutes), otherwise they will be mushy!
Today we were supposed to go to Mestre, but the alarm didn’t go off, the blinds were closed, and we slept until 3.00p. Instead we shopped around Spinea, and Bobby got me a present: beautiful Italian boots.
For dinner I made tortellini:
How to Make Tortellini
- 1 package of tortellini
- 1/2 cup of pasta sauce
- dash of olive oil
- (optional – sauteed onions)
- Boil water for the tortellini.
- Heat pasta sauce in a saucepan with oil; stir. (If you want, you can saute onions in the pan before adding the sauce.)
- Drop tortellini in boiling water for about a minute.
- Drain tortellini and add them to the sauce; mix together and serve.
For dessert we had a “Kinder Sorpresa”, a little chocolate egg that comes with a toy inside.
Our toy is some sort of space creature that resembles a tadpole…
It can also stick to fabric.
We spent the day in Venice and ate at Taverna San Trovaso for lunch. There were so many touristy and expensive cafes that we were about to head back to Spinea for lunch when we passed by San Trovaso. The menu was very reasonable, and the food was great.
Legumes – Radicchio (4,50 Euro):
It didn’t look that appetizing, but it was quite good – and the leftovers were nice with dinner.
We had Macedonia con la panna (fruit salad with whipped cream) for dessert, but I forgot to take a picture before we ate it…
We went back to La Pizzeria Maeba to pick up a pizza tonight (only 6,30 Euro).
Today’s post is dedicated to eating affordably while on vacation. My main suggestion: make your own food as often as possible. For breakfast I had fruit and yogurt; I also made eggs, some type of sausage, and bread for Bobby. So here is my scrambled eggs recipe, my Italian gnocchi recipe, a fruit and yogurt breakfast, and tips for travel food on a budget.
Quick and Easy Scrambled Eggs Recipe
- 2 eggs
- chopped onions
- a dash of olive oil
- Saute onions in olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
- Beat eggs in a bowl; add to sauteed onions.
- Use a spatula to mix the eggs slowly until finished.
Fruit salad with yogurt
- Chopped apple
- Chopped banana
- Chopped orange
- Flavored yogurt
Travel Food on Budget – Dinner Ideas
For dinner we ate in again and I cooked pasta – gnocchi, to be exact. They came out a little bit mushy, but I think I can fix that by cooking for a bit less. We also had the same salad that we had last night (with grated Parmesan) and my Brussels sprouts, apples, and onions recipe.
How to Make Gnocchi
- Gnocchi pasta
- Spaghetti sauce
- Olive oil
- Heat the spaghetti sauce in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Stir until warmed through.
- Boil water and add gnocchi. As soon as they float, remove them from the water. Don’t wait for all of them to float; remove the floating ones as soon as possible.
- Mix sauce and pasta together.
There were also fresh rolls from the supermercato. And for dessert: more fresh fruit.
Tomorrow we’re off to Venezia, where we will most likely have to spend exorbitant amounts of Euros for food. But I’m excited to visit some churches, maybe museums, markets, and shop.