I sauteed half of a diced medium onion in a bit of olive oil until it began softening. Then, I tossed in a couple of minced cloves of garlic and the 2 ichiban eggplant that I halved and sliced. I salted it, and covered to saute until the eggplant began softening (I had to add a bit more olive oil since eggplant soaks it up like a sponge). To add some additional liquid to the eggplant, garlic and onion mixture, I diced a couple medium tomatoes and added them to the pan, covered and cooked until almost tender. While they were cooking, I sliced 2 medium zucchini and 4 small yellow summer squash and added them to the pot to cook until almost tender. I added 4 thinly sliced chicken andouille sausages (by Amylu) to the veggie mixture.
While the rest of the veggies were cooking, I quartered and cut up a big bowl of red, yellow, orange and purple tomatoes. When the eggplant, zucchini and squash mixture was tender, I added the cut up fresh ripe tomatoes (about 5 cups). I just heated them until hot and then turned off the heat. I stirred in 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery style) to help thicken up the juices a bit. I layered half of the ratatouille in the bottom of a baking dish; topped with about 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, a 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese and then topped with 4 large torn leaves of fresh basil. I layered on the remaining half of the ratatouille and then topped with 1 more cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 1/3 cup of finely grated Parmesan. I popped it into a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes and then ran it under the broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes until browned and bubbly. I topped it with freshly chopped Italian parsley when it came out of the oven. It was unbelievably good and one of those dishes that just sort of evolved as I went along...my favorite kind! It was a cross between ratatouille with a cajun twist, but layered with cheeses much like lasagna. We really enjoyed it and have plenty of leftovers. It used up most of our bounty of fresh tomatoes, my first 2 eggplants, as well as fresh basil and parsley from my little garden. I snapped a few photos for you to see below. Enjoy!