Yield: Makes 4 servings.
Active time: 30 min.
Total time: 30 min.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup)
- 4 small Italian eggplants (1/2 pound each)
- 16 thin slices whole-milk mozzarella (from a 1-lb block; not fresh)
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and parmesan.
- Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderate heat.
- Trim 1/4 inch off 2 opposite long sides of each eggplant. Cut each eggplant lengthwise (in same direction as trimmed sides so each slice has skin just around edge) into 4 slices. Brush slices with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
- Grill eggplant, covered, turning over once, until tender, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface.
- Spread top of each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce and top with a slice of mozzarella, then restack each eggplant. Transfer stacks to a shallow baking pan and grill, covered, just until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.
Eggplant (brushed with 1/4 cup oil) can be roasted on a foil-lined large baking sheet in middle of a 450°F oven, turning over once, 20 minutes. Top with sauce and cheese, then stack and bake 5 minutes more.