In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and smoked ham and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until the juices are bubbling, 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, olives, oregano, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 35 minutes. Discard the bay leaf; reserve the ham for another use. Season with salt and pepper.