- 2 pounds (about 2 medium‑sized) eggplant
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 cups basic tomato sauce
- 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 (28‑ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch pieces. To remove some of the bitterness, salt each slice and set aside for 30 minutes.
- In a saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just smoking. Press the drained eggplant pieces into the seasoned bread crumb mixture and saute until light golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the pieces.
- Start to make the napoleons by placing a slice of eggplant on the bottom, top with a spoonful of tomato sauce, a slice of mozzarella, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Repeat the process, stacking two layers to each napoleon. Repeat until you run out of ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown. Add the thyme and cook five minutes more. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring often. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt to finish.