Use the quantities as a guide: It’s best to use a balanced mix of vegetables, but the roasting process is forgiving. For instance, I’ve made this with and without zucchini; I’ve used a mix of vegetables that leans heavy on the eggplant at times and heavy on the tomatoes at others. I've used all sorts of peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, etc.
Also, I've made nearly a quadruple recipe, so don’t be afraid to load up a roasting pan. The key is to be patient with the roasting. Let the vegetables cook until the liquids reduce, and the mixture becomes thick and stewy. When I double/triple/quadruple the recipe, I scale the dressing as needed. Most recently, when my roasting pan was completely loaded — I cut all of those vegetables pictured in photo 2—I used 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
If you're feeling lazy, you can toss the thyme sprigs with the vegetables before roasting (as opposed to chopping the leaves), and extract the sprigs afterwards. —Alexandra Stafford
4 to 6
eggplant, (about 1 small), chopped into 1-inch pieces, see notes above re quantities
1 1/4 pounds
tomatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces
zucchini (about 2 small), chopped into 1-inch pieces
red bell (or other) peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
yellow or white onion, chopped
shallot, thinly sliced
cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cups
olive oil, see notes above
2 to 4 tablespoons
balsamic vinegar (I prefer white)
teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt plus more to taste
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cups
thinly sliced fresh basil and/or parsley
In a large roasting pan or casserole, combine the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onion, shallot, and garlic. Note: I've been adding the vegetables to the pan as I finish chopping them, and sprinkling each layer of vegetables lightly with salt.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pour over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Season with pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes, then stir well. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes more (or even longer, especially if you've increased the quantities) until the vegetables are all very tender and the released juices are beginning to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper as desired. Stir in basil.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a tablespoon of kosher salt. Cook pasta al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add ratatouille to taste. Toss. Taste. Add parmesan if desired. Serve immediately with more fresh pepper on the side.