Ratatouille can be served as a side dish (traditional) or over pasta as a meal. I served it over quinoa (gluten free) with fried tempeh making it into a hearty meal. Mozzarella is a nice option for vegetarians but not necessary for a satisfying meal.
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; diced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Italian pepper; diced
3 plum tomatoes; diced
2 heirloom tomatoes; diced
1 eggplant; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 zucchini; cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 cloves garlic; crushed
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
large handful fresh basil; chopped (or 2 Tablespoons dry)
Heat a large wide bottom cook pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and salt, stir and cover. Stir occasionally until onions are tender and transparent, about 3 minutes. Add pepper, stir, cover and sauté another minute. Add remaining ingredients except basil and simmer with lid on stirring occasionally so the eggplant and zucchini begin to soften and break up. *this is a good time to start the fried tempeh* Simmer for 10 minutes or until the eggplant and zucchini are tender. Add the basil, stir and continue to simmer an additional 5 minutes.
*To prepare the friend tempeh (be sure to read the ingredients for gluten free, I get the soy and brown rice but there are tempeh varieties that have gluten in them so beware) preheat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Meanwhile, cut tempeh into bite sized cubes. Pour a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in the preheated pan, place the cubes in the hot oil and turn as the edges begin to brown and continue turning until all sides are crisp and golden. You may need to add more oil during the process as the tempeh absorbs the oil. Place pieces that are done in a shallow dish or on a plate to reserve for serving with the meal.*