Rush Hour

Every week, a group of my friends get together to share a meal and watch campy British comedy. These events usually fall on a Sunday evening and while there are times when the afternoon is spent cooking and preparing, dishes that take advantage of crockpots are particularly popular. This month, I'm sharing one of my favorites.

Ratatouille is a great dish that's hearty and packed with vegetables. I make mine even more in line with comfort food by adding Italian sausage and usually making it a day in advance. Like many stews and the like, this dish is even more amazing the second day!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Meaty Ratatouille

  • 2 lbs. mild Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1-inch thick rings and then cubed
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Break the sausage into small pieces. Brown the sausage in a large skillet. Spoon out the sausage and set aside. Discard any fat that's been rendered. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the eggplant and the zucchini and garlic and the remaining oil. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sausage, oregano, marjoram, salt and pepper. Place in a crockpot and heat on low for 4-8 hours. Serve hot.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus simmering time