3 large eggplants
Olive oil spray
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
4 cups canned San Marzano tomatoes, whole with juice
Pinch of cinnamon
1⁄2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 2 – 3 pieces
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
Prepare oven according to Mugnaini’s Medium Roasting Environment, 550 – 625˚F
Peel the eggplants and then slice into 1/2-inch rounds; set on an oiled sheet pan. Place in wood-burning oven and roast under large flame (best to prep in perimeter burn during startup) for 2 minutes, or until top sides are lightly browned. Turn the eggplant slices over and repeat with other side. When lightly browned on both sides and slightly tender, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt; set aside.
Place a large sauté pan with olive oil in the oven and heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cinnamon and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, or until tomatoes break easily with the back of a spoon; remove and set aside. (Sauce may be prepared two days in advance and stored in refrigerator.)
To assemble, oil the inside of a ceramic baking dish and line bottom with slices of eggplant. Cover with the tomato sauce, top with one-third of the basil leaves and one-third of the mozzarella, and sprinkle with one-third of the Parmigiano. Repeat two more layers with remaining ingredients. Drizzle top of completed dish with olive oil and bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbling slightly. (Do not overcook or allow to boil or cheese will be rubbery.) Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.