Dinner started off as a super healthy, veggie-only ratatouille. I had chopped the eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and onion … they were ready to hit the skillet. And then, I remembered that I had a 1/2 pound of delicious sausage from Charlene’s Garden that was just begging to be used. Why not add that in? My almost-veggie son would just have to take one for the team. It was an amazing addition.
|3 pans … that’s a lot for me!
Ratatouille can often be found as a side dish to a heartier meal but I wanted this ratatouille to BE the meal. Check me out for fancy recipes in a couple of years when I don’t have a toddler hanging on my leg while I am cooking… Until then, I need to be all about one dish wonders. It really did not take much effort to make this simple ratatouille into something a little bit more substantial. I added about 1 cup of pasta sauce – already made, sitting in my fridge, the cooked sausage, and then tossed everything with prepared gluten-free pasta. Wow. This meal was good. And, although I actually had to use three pans to get everything ready, it was totally worth it! If you are organized, you can definitely get away with a two-pan endeavor.
Making a ratatouille is the perfect meal to make when you take a quick look at your produce and realize that you have a few items that really need to be used up right away! If you have a choice, don’t choose your prettiest produce for this recipe … use the ones that are a little bit more beat-up. No one will ever know.
1 large eggplant, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (with or without skin)
1 onion, chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup pasta sauce
1/2 lb to 1 lb ground sausage, crumbled and cooked
8 to 12 ounces or so of cooked pasta (one package)
1. Cook the sausage in a heavy bottomed pan and drain on a separate plate.
2. Start by gently sauteeing the onions and garlic in the pan that was just used to cook the sausage. After the onions are cooked a bit, add the eggplant and the zucchini. I salted the veggies a bit before I sauteed them to give my layers of veggies a little more flavor. Cook over medium heat about 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
|Saute the Veggies
3. Add the tomatoes, cook for a few minutes and then add the pasta sauce, the cooked sausage, and the bay leaf. If you add good pasta sauce, this will eliminate your need for additional seasoning like oregano, thyme, etc. Heat through and simmer for about 10 to 15 more minutes.
|The local tomatoes really make this meal amazing!
3. Cook and drain your pasta according to the directions on the package. We used gluten-free penne pasta. Elbow pasta would also work well with this recipe. Add the warm pasta to your sausage ratatouille and gently stir to combine.
4. Serve it up!! You can grate some parmesan over the top or leave it as is… Enjoy!
A few notes … We had a small serving of leftovers from this meal and my daughter begged me to let her have it for lunch the next day! I love sending my kids with hot meal on a cool day … warm this up on your stove or in a microwave in the morning and then send it school in a thermos. J said that it was the perfect temperature when she opened it at the lunch table!
Interested in another ratatouille recipe? Check this one out … Skillet Ratatouille – we made this one as a side dish many times during the summer to accompany a quick and easy grilled dinner.