(makes 4 servings)
1 six-ounce can tomato paste *
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic (garlic lovers can add another tablespoon!)
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
3/4 cup water
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced **
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced (we recommend one red and one yellow)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (can substitute basil leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onion, sautéing the onion until tender and translucent (only a few minutes). Then, add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
Get a 10×10-inch baking dish and lightly grease with cooking spray. Mix the tomato paste, sautéed onion and garlic, water, and one tablespoon of olive oil together in a bowl until everything is thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then spread this mixture along the bottom of the dish.
Toss sliced vegetables in a bit of olive oil, just enough to very lightly coat them.
Take the thinly sliced eggplant, zucchini, squash, and peppers and begin arranging them along the outer edge of the dish – alternating between vegetables. You’ll follow the outer edge of the dish and then work in a circle toward the middle, until you get to the center.
Finish by drizzling the top of the vegetables with two tablespoons of olive oil and adding salt and pepper to taste. Then, sprinkle the top with thyme leaves.
Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper, trimmed enough to fit inside the dish and cover the vegetables.
Bake until the vegetables are tender and fully roasted, about 45 minutes.
*If you don’t have tomato paste, then simply replace the paste, onions, garlic, water, and one tablespoon of olive oil with your favorite pasta sauce.
** If you’re going to use eggplant, you might want to salt each side of the sliced eggplant and let them sit for about 30 minutes before adding them to the recipe. This helps get some of the moisture out of the eggplant so it doesn’t get soggy