Recipe by Rachael Ray
The key to this dish is draining the veggies very well before roasting. The cooked eggplant and zucchini are layered with only cheese and sauce, so there are no breadcrumbs to absorb any excess liquid.
This recipe originally appeared in our Harvest 2020 issue. Get the magazine here.
- 2 firm medium eggplant
- 2 firm medium zucchini
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. granulated onion
- 1 tsp. fennel pollen or ground fennel seed
- Crushed red pepper, for sprinkling
- Non-aerosol cooking spray
- 2 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- Pinch sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 can (14 to 15 oz.) cherry tomatoes or Italian diced tomatoes
- 1 jar (24 oz.) passata
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus a handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ball (8 oz.) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. Trim the tops off the eggplant and zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, peel half of the skin off the eggplant in long strips, leaving a strip of skin between peeled sections. (The eggplant will look striped.) Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick planks or steaks. Salt the eggplant and zucchini and arrange in a single layer on kitchen towels. Let sit for 30 minutes. Using a paper towel, press on the vegetables firmly to remove the excess moisture.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Arrange the vegetable planks on the baking sheets in a single layer. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic, granulated onion, fennel pollen, and a little bit of crushed red pepper. Spray the vegetables with the cooking spray and roast until lightly browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the vegetables rest until they are cool enough to handle. Move one of the oven racks to the center position.
3. In a large Dutch oven or large deep saucepan, heat the EVOO, two turns of pan, over medium. Melt the butter into the oil, then add the onion. Season with salt and sugar and cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Stir in the canned tomatoes, passata, and 1/4 cup basil. Bring the sauce to a bubble, then reduce heat to a simmer and let the sauce cook while the zucchini and eggplant cool.
4. Pour one quarter of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the eggs into the remaining sauce. Arrange one layer of eggplant on top of the sauce. Top with a layer of zucchini. Top with one third of the remaining sauce, one third of the cheeses, and some torn basil. Repeat two more times, ending with a layer of cheese.
5. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.