no skillets were harmed in the making of this dish
I usually sauté a ratatouille in stages in a large skillet, adding the tomatoes at the end to bring it all together. Today, I’m going to roast it all in one big dish, even the bacon, still adding some crushed tomatoes at the end. I just wish a had more than a few garlic cloves to throw in, but those few will have to do. I’m going to try to keep all the vegetables cut to the same size, not too small, and use enough olive oil, keeping in mind that the bacon is going to add its own fat. I’m using a smoked, thick-sliced bacon from a local butcher, maybe just 2-3 slices, so it’s not overwhelming. My poor husband will be eating a ribeye and some roasted zucchini, because he has silly opinions of eggplant and mushrooms.
It’s a cold, winter day, so having the oven on is a bonus, one that I would prefer to standing at the stove on a Saturday. I used two old standby Pyrex dishes, the 3 and 4 quart oblong sizes, to fit in all the ingredients, sprinkling the bacon over the tops to brown up and drizzle their bacony goodness all over. The glass baking dishes were a real mess, but I’m giving the dishwasher a chance to redeem them.
Preheat oven to 400°
1 medium-large eggplant
10 oz Baby Bella mushrooms
1 large onion
1 large red bell pepper
I medium-large zucchini
3-5 unpeeled cloves of garlic
3 slices thick bacon
6 oz crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
lots of olive oil
salt & pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Clean then cut all the vegetables in a large dice; I quartered the mushrooms and cut the zucchini in angled chunks. Toss each separately in olive oil to coat and place in glass baking dish. I kept each vegetable in a separate row in case any were done sooner than the others and needed to be removed—none did. I had too many to all go in one dish. The eggplant went in a dish of its own, topped with the unpeeled garlic cloves.
- Salt and pepper all the vegetables, then sprinkle diced bacon over the top. This allows you to see when the bacon is browned and to remove it, if needed.
- Roast at 400° for 45 mins. Remove from oven, but keep the oven on. Combine all the roasted vegetables in one dish.
- Press roasted garlic out of cloves and mix with tomatoes and herbs. Toss vegetables with the tomato mixture, mounding it in the center of the dish.
- Return to oven for about 5 minutes or until hot and a little bubbly.
- Serve with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I prefer this to mixing in the cheese, because it reheats better. Then you can always add the cheese in whatever way you are eating the ratatouille—with polenta or scrambled eggs, for example.