Sunday Night Ratatouille

Sunday nights are usually relaxing, lazy nights for me and Chris. Easy dinners in the backyard with an inexpensive bottle of wine, reflecting on the weekend and prepping for the week ahead.

This past weekend, I was excited to cook with the first eggplant we'd ever grown ourselves. I cannot express how excited I am that we were actually able to grow an eggplant! Is that dorky? Anyway, we wanted to make a pasta dish since, despite being people who enjoy a good bowl of noodles, hadn't had any in a while. Originally my thought was to roast a bunch of veggies together, but our taste buds were saying sauce, so we made sauce. I concocted a modified, fast version of a ratatouille, which, because of its faster cooking time, keeps the veggies intact and less mushy than some ratatouilles. The result is a chunky, herbaceous, veggie-rich pasta sauce. Tossed with whole wheat pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese and a dollop of Chris' homemade basil walnut pesto. Simple, fast, and oh so delicious!

Sunday Night Ratatouille
Makes 1 pot, enough for 4-6 meals

4 tbsp olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 dashes crushed red pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 14.5-oz cans organic fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
1 tbsp organic tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic cloves and saute 3 minutes. Add eggplant and zucchini; stir to coat with oil; saute 5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and fresh herbs; saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, or until flavors meld and sauce thickens. Add more spices & herbs as desired.

Spoon over pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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