Eggplant-zucchini stacks with tomato sauce and Italian cheese


  • 9 eggplants (aubergines) and 9 round zucchini (courgettes), sliced into 3 equal pieces of 1.5 cm each from the centre (where it doesn’t tapper). If you can’t find round zucchini use the long variety and overlap thinner slices to compensate. Reserve the tops and bottoms of the eggplant and zucchini for another day, see the added tip at the bottom of the recipe.
  • 460 gr (2 cups, 16 oz) homemade or store bought passata di pomodoro (tomato purée, sieved tomatoes or passata depending on region)
  • 400 gr (14 oz) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 250 gr (2 cups, 9 oz) all purpose flour
  • Dried oregano and black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • Fresh basil to serve


  • Preheat your Fornetto oven, a conventional oven, your kamado or smoker, to 190℃ (375℉).
  • Wash your vegetables and slice. You should have 27 more or less equal slices of eggplant and 18 slices of round zucchini (or 54 slices of the thin variety). Salt and allow to sweat on absorbent paper for 10 minutes, this will draw extra liquid from the vegetables as well as the bitterness from the eggplant.
  • Dredge each piece of eggplant and zucchini through flour and fry in olive oil until very lightly golden, do not overcook here. Place on absorbent paper.
  • Lightly oil the base of a roasting dish and cover with a layer of passata.
  • Begin by laying out three rows of three slices of eggplant. Sprinkle 2 parts mozzarella to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Cover with zucchini and passata. Repeat with a layer of eggplant and remaining ingredient but pouring passata on the last layer of eggplant before the cheeses. Sprinkle with dried oregano and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover (making sure the foil does not touch the cheese) and bake for 1 hour.
  • Uncover and bake further until the cheese has melted or browned to your liking.


1. Place a toothpick through each stack to ensure they remain upright and remove before serving.

2. Cut the remaining eggplant and zucchini into thin chips. Coat with flour, salt and pepper and quickly fry in olive oil over high heat. Toss with Parmiggiano-Reggiano and enjoy!