2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon more
Three 14.5-ounce cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cups basil, chopped
2 large balls of buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
0 salt and pepper, to tasteShop this recipe
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch thick slices, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt (sprinkle generously – you want to draw out the excess moisture here). Let the eggplant slices lie flat for about 20 minutes and let the salt to do its work.
2. For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Once the mixture has simmered, add the balsamic vinegar, adjusting to taste.
3. For the rest of the dish: Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Use the remaining olive oil to brush a large baking dish (you will end up layering the rest of the eggplant). Sprinkle the eggplant with some basil, layer it with some mozzarella followed by some of the sauce, and sprinkle generously with parmesan. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients have been used. Bake until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes.