Ratatouille Orecchiette

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
2 small eggplants, cubed (about 2 cups)
1 small zucchini, cubed (about 1 cup)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh oregano, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
2 cups chopped tomatoes with their juice, canned or fresh
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the pepper and cook 2 minutes more. Add the eggplant and cook 2 more minutes.

3. Add the zucchini, garlic, bay leaf and oregano. Season lightly with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 40 minutes, uncovered.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.

6. Toss the hot pasta with the ratatouille and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

7. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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