2 pound(s), medium thickness, cut in 1/2-in-thick slices
1 tsp(s), chopped
¾ tsp(s), divided
¼ tsp(s), freshly ground
2 large, finely chopped (1/2 c)
Crushed red pepper flakes
⅛ tsp(s), or to taste
28 oz, whole plum variety
Part-skim ricotta cheese
Grated parmigiano reggiano
6 tbsp(s), divided
¼ cup(s), fresh, chopped
Part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup(s), shredded, shredded, divided
- Adjust oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Generously coat both sides of eggplant with cooking spray; divide among prepared baking sheets, arranging each batch in an even layer. Season with thyme, 1/4 tsp salt and ground pepper, pressing to adhere. Roast until golden brown and very tender, 20–25 minutes, turning eggplant and rotating pans halfway through.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring often, until softened, 4–5 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 tsp salt; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to break up tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1/4 c Parmesan, basil and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. In a small bowl, stir together panko and remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan.
- Increase oven to 450°F. Lightly coat a 10-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 c sauce in bottom of prepared dish; top with a single layer of eggplant (10–12 slices). Dot eggplant with 1/2 c ricotta mixture. Top evenly with 1/4 c mozzarella, 10-12 slices eggplant, 1 c sauce and remaining 1/2 c ricotta mixture. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, 1/4 c mozzarella and remaining sauce. Sprinkle evenly with panko mixture.
- Bake on upper rack until top is golden and sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces.