2 1/2 lb tomatoes (4 large)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large onions (1 1/2 lb total), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 assorted bell peppers (green, red, and/or yellow; 1 1/2 lb total),
cut into 1-inch pieces
4 medium zucchini (2 lb), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Garnish: Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings and fresh basil
Cut an X in bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife and blanch
together in a 4-quart pot of boiling water 1 minute. Transfer tomatoes
with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle,
peel off skin, beginning from scored end, with paring knife.
Coarsely chop tomatoes and transfer to a 5-quart heavy pot with garlic,
parsley, basil, and 1/3 cup oil. Simmer, partially covered, stirring
occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce is slightly thickened,
about 30 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, toss eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a
large colander and let stand in sink 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook onions in 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in
a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until
softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to
a large bowl, then add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook bell peppers
with 1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until
softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers with slotted spoon to bowl
with onions. Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook zucchini with
1/4 teaspoon salt over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just
tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer zucchini with slotted spoon to bowl
with other vegetables.
While zucchini are cooking, pat eggplant dry with paper towels. Add
remaining oil (about 1/4 cup) to skillet and cook eggplant over moderate
heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to12 minutes.
Add vegetables, remaining teaspoon salt, and black pepper to tomato
sauce and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are
very tender, about 1 hour. Cool, uncovered, and serve warm or at room
Makes 8-10 side-dish servings
Gourmet July 2003