Ratatouille with Butternut Squash

adapted from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi

4 T. olive oil
2 small onions, cut into 1 1/4-in. dice
4 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
1/2 fresh green chile, thinly sliced (I used a jalapeƱo pepper)
2 small red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 1/4-in. dice
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 1/4-in. dice (I cut mine into slightly larger chunks so that they’d keep their shape)
1 cup French green beans, trimmed
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/4-in. dice
1/2 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 1/4-in. dice (I used two long Japanese eggplants and I didn’t peel them)
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1 1/4-in. dice (I used a Yukon Gold)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 T. sugar
1 T. tomato paste (I buy mine in a tube and keep it in the fridge)
salt and pepper
1 cup water
cilantro, chopped as a garnish

Pour two T. oil into a large Dutch oven and heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chile and red peppers and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash and cook another 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the vegetables out of the pot and into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 T. oil to the pot; add the French green beans, zucchini and eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return the contents of the bowl to the pot. Add the potato, tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste and plenty of salt and pepper. (I started with 1 t. salt.) Stir well, pour in the water, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, lift all the vegetables from the pot onto a large roasting pan or baking sheet, making a layer about 1 1/4 inches thick. Pour the liquid from the pot around the vegetables and place into the oven for 30 minutes. At this point the vegetables will be very soft and most of the liquid will have evaporated. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately or allow to cool to room temperature.