When Pendle Hill cook Carol Sciarra makes ratatouille, she prefers to roast the eggplant and zucchini first before adding them to the stew base. This allows the vegetables to caramelize and give this hearty meal a fuller flavor. She’s also found that San Marzano (region) peeled tomatoes are the absolute best variety for ratatouille.
1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1″ rounds
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ chunks
2 medium eggplant (or 1 large), cut into 1″ chunks
1T balsamic vinegar
3T olive oil
1 green pepper, cut in half, deseeded, cut into 1″ chunks
1 large onion, chopped medium
6 gloves of garlic, minced
28 oz San Marzano peeled tomatoes
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil, chopped or cut into julienne slices (save some for garnish)
1T fresh rosemary
1T kosher salt (or to taste)
½ T coarse ground black pepper
Olive oil for sautéing
~Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place on an oiled baking pan and roast for about 20 minutes, until browned on the edges and a little shriveled. Toss the zucchini with about 1 T olive oil and roast for about 10 minutes, until bright green and a little shriveled.
~In a large cast iron skillet, add about 1 T olive oil. Warm the skillet and add the sausage. Cook stirring occasionally until the sausage is nicely browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
~Add the onions to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and the rosemary and cook for another minute or so. Add the peppers, the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down, about 20 minutes. Add the sausage and the roast zucchini and eggplant. Cook until just heated through. Taste, adjust for salt and pepper, and serve!
~Definitely serve this with a nice baguette, and creamy polenta if you like.
~Whatever you do, BON APPETIT!