Ratatouille | The Domestic Man

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter (ghee okay)
4 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small jar (~16oz) pasta sauce or 2 cups Superior Spaghetti Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt; saute until the mushrooms are softened and release their liquid, about 6 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and toss until incorporated, then add the pasta sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly darkened, about 10 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 400F. As the sauce simmers, thinly slice the vegetables to 1/4″ thickness, using either a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife. Cut them so that they are of similar size – for example, I had a large eggplant so I cut it in half lengthwise before slicing. Once the sauce is ready, taste it and add salt and pepper; the sauce should be strongly seasoned and boldly flavored, so as to impart its deliciousness into the vegetables as they bake. Consider adding a pinch of oregano to give it a bit more punch. When you’re satisfied, remove the sauce from heat.

3. In a deep baking pan, pour in half of the sauce and spread evenly. Layer the vegetables in alternating patterns until the baking pan is filled. Spoon the remaining sauce over the vegetables, filling in any open nooks and crannies. Place in the center of the oven and bake until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

** If you have any leftover vegetables, you can make a quick stir-fry by tossing them with olive oil and/or butter over medium heat until softened, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, for a quick snack as the Ratatouille bakes.

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