I’ve always enjoyed ratatouille, and have several different versions (uses) posted right here, and here (pizza style), and here; but this one is by far my fave.
I based this recipe on one that was adapted from a recipe on AllRecipes.com – sorry, I do not have the original recipe link – and loved the suggestion that I could skip the pre-baking sautée of onion and garlic, then adding tomato paste and water and olive oil to make a sauce by using a bit of my own leftover pasta sauce.
I had just that week made a vegetarian version of my Best! Doctored Pasta Sauce, and had just enough left over for the ratatouille. I had a really good feeling about the way this was gonna turn out.
•1 small eggplant
•1 zucchini, sliced
•1 yellow squash, sliced
•1 yellow pepper, sliced – remove the ribs
•1 jalapeño, sliced and seeded
•Ground pepper (I used green)
•2 cups pasta sauce
Slice the eggplant, salt both sides and let rest on a large platter for 30 minutes, then gently wipe the salt and excess liquid off the eggplant before proceeding with the ratatouille.
Heat your oven to 375º and brush a bit of olive oil on a 10” square or round baking dish – I have a small Dansk paella pan that works a treat and looks great doing it.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the top of your chosen baking pan (lay the pan upside down on top of the parchment paper on a cutting surface and trace around the edge of the pan with a sharp knife – I always have at least one X-Acto knife in my kitchen for just this use.
Spread the pasta sauce over the bottom of your prepared baking pan, then arrange your veggies in sequence in the pan.
Since my pan was round, I worked in a circle beginning at the outer edge: eggplant, yellow pepper, zucchini, yellow squash; then repeat, working around the pan and into the center. I tucked the sliced jalapeño more or less evenly among the veggies.
Season the veggies with the basil (use fresh, if you have it, but dried was fine), Aleppo pepper and black (or green) pepper – I chose not to add any salt, because I had salted the eggplant, and my tomato sauce was already nicely seasoned – then drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil over the top.
Fit the parchment paper over the top like a lid, tucking lightly in, if needed, then pop into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before removing the parchment paper and serving.
We had ours alongside baked cod and sweet potatoes, which needed to cook at a different temperature, so I popped the ratatouille on the warm spot at the back of the stove while I adjusted the oven and roasted the rest of dinner.
Worked a treat; the cod and sweet potatoes were perfect, and the ratatouille? Just look at it when I peeled off the parchment: