Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

 

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1″ squares

4 medium green zucchini, cut into 1/2′ slices

Flour and olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

3 minced garlic cloves

3 seeded large green peppers, diced

4 peeled large tomatoes, cut into strips

1/2 C. finely cut parsley

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. basil

Salt and pepper

6 links Usinger’s Fresh Italian Sausage

Chopped parsley

1/4 C. Parmesan Cheese

Dredge eggplant and zucchini in flour. Heat oil (about 2 T.) in large heavy pan and briefly sauté eggplant and zucchini in batches over medium heat about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Saute’ onion, garlic, and green pepper in same oil (you may have to add 1 T. more oil) until soft – not brown. Save pan to sauté Italian Sausage.

Preheat oven to 350º. In large low casserole (like a paella dish), layer sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, and seasonings. Mix gently. Bake covered 35 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté sausage in reserved fry pan until browned. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and cool. Slice 1/4′ thick and return to fry pan. Sauté slices 2 or 3 minutes on each side on medium heat. Do not let slices get crispy – you may need more oil.

After vegetables have baked 35 minutes (you may have to drain extra juices, but save them if you do), add sausage slices. Push most of the sausage slices down into the vegetable mixture, but reserve some for the casserole top. Return to oven for 20 minutes. If more juice is needed, add juice one tablespoon at a time. I have never needed more as juice is let go from many vegetables in casserole. Garnish with fresh parsley and (if desired) Parmesan Cheese.

Flavor improves by making casserole 24 hours ahead and refrigerating. Bring to room temperature before reheating. Can easily double this recipe.

Serves 6 – 8.

Special thanks to Mildred Brever for it!

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