Parmigiana di Zucchine
Slice the zucchini lengthwise about 3/8-inch thick. Layer the slices in a colander, sprinkling the layers with 1 tablespoon salt to draw out moisture. Let drain for 15 minutes, then rinse under cold water and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when you dip in a piece of zucchini, add a few slices of zucchini—don’t crowd the pan—and fry until soft and lightly colored on both sides, about 2 minutes. With tongs, transfer the cooked zucchini to a plate lined with paper towels. Continue until you have fried all the zucchini.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Spread 1/3 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking dish, just enough to coat it lightly. Make a layer of zucchini slices placed side by side; it is okay if they overlap slightly. Top with another 1/3 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, 2 leaves of basil torn in small pieces, and one-third of the mozzarella. Repeat the layering of zucchini, tomato sauce, Parmesan, basil, and mozzarella two more times. Finish with a ﬁnal layer of zucchini slices, the remainder of the tomato sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
Bake until bubbling and browned on top, about 30-45 minutes. Let rest at least 15 minutes to allow it to settle before cutting into squares.
Recipe from My Calabria by Rosetta Costantino (W.W. Norton & Company, © 2010) reprinted with permission.