The classic French ratatouille is made by simmering eggplant with other vegetables and herbs. It's often served as a side or appetizer with bread, but our addition of Italian sausage turns it into a hearty meal for cooler months.
Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Puncture the sausage links in several places, then cook them at a low boil until they're no longer pink in the center, about 14 minutes. Transfer the links to a plate to cool, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
Over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the eggplant and zucchini and sauté them, stirring often, until they are lightly browned but not soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sliced sausage and sauté, stirring often, for 3 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.
Partially cover the skillet and gently simmer the ratatouille for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, along with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and half of the basil. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining basil. Serves 6.
Per serving (1 1/3 cups): Calories 252 • Total Fat 15 g • Saturated Fat 3 g • Cholesterol 17 mg • Sodium 767 mg • Total Carbohydrate 18 g • Fiber 5 g • Sugars 9 g • Protein 12 g