The vegetables that make up traditional Provençal ratatouille--eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers--all go particularly well with basil. We've turned them into a pasta sauce that can also be served on polenta or on a hero with sausages.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.

Step 3

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain the pasta and toss with the vegetables, the 1/2 cup basil, and, if the pasta seems too dry, some of the reserved pasta-cooking water. Serve topped with the 2 tablespoons basil.

Step 4

Wine Recommendation: The combined acidity of tomatoes and vinegar calls for a crisp, high-acid wine--one with enough earthiness to complement the vegetables. An unoaked chardonnay from northeastern Italy fills the bill.

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