Ratatouille (version XVII)

2 medium eggplant, peeled, sliced and cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced and quartered
4 medium zucchini, cubed
4 to 5 large, ripe, flavorful tomatoes
1 pound roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
8 to 10  cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh basil, minced
1/2 bunch fresh italian parsley, minced
black pepper to taste
red wine
olive oil

Heat a dutch oven over a medium flame, add a small splash of oil, and sauté the garlic and onion for a few minutes; add the zucchini and mushrooms, sauté for a few minutes; add the eggplant, keep stirring for a while, then add a splash of red wine. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; then add the tomatoes, herbs, and pepper. Continue to stir every few minutes; this will become very soupy as the liquid from the eggplant and the tomatoes comes out. Cook uncovered for a while until much of the excess liquid boils off, then reduce to low and cover, stirring once in a while, for about an hour.

Serve in bowls with an optional garnish of fresh grated romano cheese, tossed greens with vinaigrette, and a crusty, heavy peasant bread. Reheats wonderfully.

Serves 8.

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