Comment: Ratatouille is the most famous vegetable casserole in Italy and the South of France. It is often made with a combination of vegetables and other local seasonings. Here in Bayou Country, we add smoked sausage to give the dish a Cajun twist.
1 cup diced eggplant 1 cup diced zucchini 1 cup diced yellow squash 1 cup diced tomatoes 1/2 cup sliced black olives 1/2 cup olive oil 1 pound sliced smoked sausage 1 cup diced onions 1 cup diced celery 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers 1/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers 1/4 cup minced garlic 2 cups tomato sauce 1/4 cup chopped thyme 1/4 cup chopped basil 1/4 cup fresh oregano salt and cracked black pepper to taste granulated garlic to taste Louisiana hot sauce to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 14-inch cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté smoked sausage until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Saute onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend in eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, olives and sausage. Sauté 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Once eggplant mixture is wilted, stir in tomato sauce, thyme, basil and oregano. Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Continue to cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and spoon ratatouille into an ovenproof baking dish. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Serve as a vegetable casserole or as a stuffing for chicken and game birds.