Slow-cooker Ratatouille

1 pound eggplant, thickly sliced


3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 bell peppers, any color, seeded and cut into large chunks

1 pound yellow squash or zucchini, cut into large chunks

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

Black pepper

1 pound grilled (or otherwise cooked) lamb sausage, Italian sausage (sweet or hot) or other sausage, cut into rounds (optional)

1 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese

Place the eggplant slices on several layers of paper towels, and salt heavily on both sides. Cover with more towels, and let sit 30-60 minutes, turning once to "sweat." Rinse well under running water, and drain.

Put all the ingredients except the sausage and cheese in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, add the sausage (if using). Just before serving, stir in the cheese.

Serves four to six.

Marialisa Calta

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