Cast Iron Ratatouille

This recipe for Ratatouille is simple, amazingly delicious and takes advantage of the bounty of summertime produce. We love the combo of Pesto Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh basil. It works perfectly alongside local favorite D'Agostino Pasta Sauce.

1 1/2 cups D'Agostino Pasta Sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small eggplants
1 large zucchini
3 or 4 large yellow squash
1 large red bell pepper
2 Tbl Pesto Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sel de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
Big Handful fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the cast iron in the oven to pre-heat. Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini, squash and red bell pepper. Slice vegetables to a 1/8″ thickness. Place eggplant slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let slices sit for 20 minutes to pull out the bitter juices. Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry and set aside.

Remove the skillet from the oven and lightly brush with a little Pesto Extra Virgin Olive Oil or consider our Olive Oil Sprayer. Spread the D'Agostino Sauce evenly in the bottom of the preheated 8-10 inch cast iron skillet. Scatter the garlic over the sauce.

Arrange vegetable slices over tomato sauce in concentric circles starting from the outer edge working towards the center. Alternate eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper. Drizzle with the Pesto Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season with a sprinkling of Sel de Provence. Cover with a circle of parchment or foil cut to fit just inside the cast iron skillet. You don't want to completely seal the skillet and trap the heat. The parchment/foil "lid" protects the dish from drying out while allowing some of the steam to escape. Bake 40-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Just before serving, garnish with a big handful of torn or chiffonade of fresh basil. 

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