- 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 eggplant - trimmed, peeled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 (6 ounce) cans water
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease an 8x14-inch baking dish.
- Mix seasoned bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and press into bread crumb mixture to coat. Lay slices onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove eggplant and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Whisk tomato paste and water in a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Stir in basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, brown sugar, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Place eggplant slices into prepared baking dish, overlapping the slices. Spoon tomato sauce over eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. If desired, broil for 1 to 2 more minutes to give the cheese topping a golden color. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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