By splitting and roasting these babies face-down, the eggplant gets velvety soft. While that’s happening, you make the quickest, tastiest tomato sauce so when the 🍆🍆 🍆🍆 are ready you just spoon the 🌶🌶🌶 sauce right on top, cheese it up (no breading!), broil, and your low-carb/keto/etc. dinner is ready.
- 1 large Italian eggplant
- ½ cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- One 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Roast the eggplant:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then score the cut sides in a half-inch crosshatch pattern. Brush each side with 3 tablespoons olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and arrange the eggplants, face down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the eggplant i soft and the undersides are golden, 20 minutes.
While the eggplants are cooking, make the sauce:
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, and salt, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, 15 minutes.
Top and finish the dish:
Remove the eggplant from the oven but leave the oven on. Use a spatula to flip the eggplant, then divide the sauce among the 2 eggplant halves. Divide the mozzarella among the eggplant halves and bake until the cheese is bubbly 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil.