Spicy Eggplant Gratin

Eggplant Gratin with Scamorza + A170202 + Food & Wine + Home Away From Home + Sicily + May 2017


  • 3 pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 30 basil leaves
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 6 ounces smoked scamorza or mozzarella cheese, cubed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1 cup)
  • Crusty bread, for serving

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