RATATOUILLE BREAD PUDDING

This recipe can be made one day ahead, then baked.  Best with Coeur d'Alene Cellars No. 6 Red.

4 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
4 cups cubed peeled eggplant
2 2/3 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cloves

4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups or more grated parmesan or romano, divided
8 large eggs
16 ounces cubed day-old Italian bread
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionaly.  Add eggplant and next 6 ingredients; cover and cook 15 minutes or until tender.  Increase heat and add tomatoes; cook, uncovered 15 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Cool slightly.

Combine milk, 1/2 cup cheese, and eggs in a large bowl. stirring with a whisk.  Stir in eggplant mixture.  Add bread and stir.  Let stand 10 minutes.  spoon mixture into t 4-quart baking dish or 2 (2-quart) dishes coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle pudding with the remaining 1 cup cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until pudding is set and llightly browned.  Yield: 12 servings.

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