Spicy Eggplant Gratin

How to Make It

Step 1

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Divide the eggplant between the prepared baking sheets and toss each sheet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and spread out in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown; rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. Keep the oven on.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the onion, season with salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper and 5 of the basil leaves and cook, stirring, until the garlic is softened and fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until almost smooth; season with salt. You should have about 6 cups of tomato sauce.

Step 3

Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 2 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with half of the eggplant and the remaining basil leaves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread 2 cups of the sauce on top and sprinkle with half of each cheese. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Top with the remaining eggplant, sauce, scamorza and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Step 4

Bake the gratin in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbling. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler to high. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the top and broil for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

SOURCE: Food & Wine