Courtesy of goboldwithbutter.com
- 1 large eggplant cut into 12 1/4 inch thick slices
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon oregano
- 2/3 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 12 slices Provolone cheese
- 12 large fresh basil leaves
- 12 slices Italian bread
- Sprinkle eggplant slices with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Put slices in colander to drain. Set eggplant aside for 20 minutes. While eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce.
- In medium sized pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and oregano. Bring tomato sauce to boil and then reduce heat and simmer sauce for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pat drained eggplant dry with paper towels. Season slices with pepper. Cook eggplant slices on grill or indoor grill pan over medium heat. Cook eggplant for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until slices are tender. Remove slices from grill and set aside.
- In small bowl, combine Ricotta, Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Set cheese mixture aside.
- To assemble sandwiches, spread layer of Ricotta mixture on each slice of bread. Layer 2 slices of eggplant on top of 6 slices of bread. Top eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon tomato sauce. Top sauce with 2 slices of Provolone cheese. Place 2 basil leaves on top of Provolone. Season sandwich stacks with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Close sandwiches with the remaining slices of Ricotta-smeared bread. Gently press down on sandwiches.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet. Grill sandwiches on both sides until golden brown. Remove sandwiches from skillet. Slice sandwiches and serve with additional tomato sauce, if desired.