This pairing both musically and culinarily is not for the faint of heart. Gubaidulina’s “Chaconne” pulls no punches as it consumes the listener with its twisted beauty. Explore and indulge in a delicious dish that is sure to challenge even an accomplished home cook. Those who are brave enough to dive in will reap the rewards of their hard work with a pairing that pushes the boundaries of both food and music.

Total Time:
2 hr

UNA's Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille on a Squid Ink Tuile



-90g water 

-40g neutral oil 

-10g flour 

-5g squid ink (optional)


-4 roma tomatoes 

-2 green zucchini

-2 yellow zucchini

-2 thin long eggplants (similar diameter to zucchini is the goal) 

-1 large white or yellow onion 

-2 red bell peppers 

-6 cloves garlic 

-3-4 tablespoons olive oil 



-Balsamic glaze (optional)


Disclaimer: This dish was designed for one of our live UNA Experiences and was not necessarily intended for the home cook. That being said it is very doable but be prepared to experiment a little bit and spend some time in the kitchen!

The first thing to do is preheat the oven to 300f and prep all of the vegetables. Start by slicing two small x’s at the top and bottom of each Roma tomato and blanching them in boiling water for 45 seconds. Once blanched, immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and allow to cool briefly. when cool enough to handle, carefully peel the skins off of the tomatoes. The blanched tomatoes will be fairly delicate so carefully slice them as thinly as you can with a sharp knife. For all of the zucchini and eggplant you’ll also want to slice them thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one to get nice consistently thin slices quickly, or you can use a knife for this as well. Save all of the off cuts from your vegetables as you’ll use them for your sauce. Slice up your onion, roughly chop your bell peppers and slice your garlic and add them to a large heavy pot or dutch oven along with a few tablespoons of olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and set over medium low heat. Cook down the onion, pepper, garlic and vegetable scraps until they are nicely broken down and jammy. Transfer to a powerful blender, add a few more tablespoons of oil and another pinch of salt and blend until very smooth. The color should be a pleasant orangish yellow depending on the quantities of vegetables used. Now we are going to assemble our ratatouille! Add just enough sauce to cover the bottom of a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) and begin adding the thinly sliced rounds of vegetables in an alternating overlapping shingled pattern starting at the outer edge of the pan and spiraling in towards the center. Once all of the veggie rounds are loaded in on top of the sauce, give it one last drizzle of olive oil over the top and cover the pan with a parchment paper lid. Bake your beautiful creation in a 300f oven for approximately 90 minutes. 

While the ratatouille is baking, it’s time to make your tuiles. If you have a hard time finding squid ink or want to keep things totally vegetarian feel free to leave it out. It is mostly for color in this application. Weigh out and add all of the tuile ingredients in a plastic squeeze bottle. Shake vigorously to combine. Preheat a small (6 inch) nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Squeeze out enough of the mixture to just cover the bottom of the skillet. It should start to almost immediately bubble and boil. Be careful at this point because it will start to spit hot oil a little bit so if you are worried about your clothes or the cleanliness of your kitchen use some kind of sieve to cover the pan as it is boiling. Keep a close eye on the tuile as it will go from liquid form to a very thin aerated crispy texture. You know it is done once all of the water has boiled off and you are left with a lacy crisp tuile! Carefully transfer the finished tuile to a paper towel to drain off any excess oil and let cool. 

To plate this dish, start by laying a squid ink tuile on a small white plate. Carefully arrange your ratatouille in a circle in the center of the tuile. Finish the dish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and serve hot! 

Pairing Notes

From the first earth splitting chord of Gubaidulina’s Chaconne you’re dropped without a liferaft into the turbulent waters of grief. The music staggers forward, dazed in a whirlwind of atonal harmony, until searching melodies deliver you to a small fragment of peace. You can hear your mind racing to cope with whatever catastrophe might have just occurred as the music slowly tries to make sense of itself. Memories echo through a barren landscape and you as the listener are left to explore and process the strange world around you. 

The ratatouille, while perhaps not being known as an especially dark or sorrowful food, carries with it the weight of these meaty vegetables. When enjoyed together, every bite contains strong and enticing flavors that aptly pair with the inquisitive nature of the music. All this is given context by the tuile which emulates the haunting and isolated environment this piece depicts.

Gubaidulina titles this work Chaconne, which historically would bring to mind variations over a repetitive harmonic or melodic bass figure–a tradition dating back to the early baroque period. She takes this concept and makes it her own by repeating certain motives and fragments, each evolving as the piece unfolds. This allows you to hear the struggle inside the music and makes for an apparent emotional journey. By the time you think you’ve found a small sliver of peace, the music comes to a deafening silence and the opening chord plunges you right back into undefeatable hopelessness. This is definitely a pairing designed for the curious mind. If you’re brave enough to take it on, the reward will be that of a profoundly moving experience. 

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