This meat-free super-sub will fast become your favorite sandwich, period.
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4 to 5 flat filets, optional
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 long, red, hot chili peppers
- 2 red bell peppers
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes
- A few leaves of basil, torn
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 small, firm zucchini
- 4 medium organic tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs or fresh breadcrumbs from stale or toasted French bread
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried Herbes de Provence, a couple of small palmfuls
- Olive oil, for shallow frying
- Crusty hoagie rolls or 1 loaf French bread, cut into 10-inch lengths
- 2 cups shredded Gruyère or Provolone cheese
Yields: Serves 4
Char sweet and hot peppers under the broiler or over an open flame. Let cool in a plastic wrap-covered bowl then peel and seed. Cut into long strips and reserve.
Heat EVOO in a saucepot over medium heat. Stir in anchovies and melt them into the oil. Stir in garlic, cook 2 minutes then add wine and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add basil and reduce to thicken sauce.
Meanwhile, slice eggplant into discs and cut zucchini lengthwise. Arrange sliced veggies on brown paper or a few layers of paper towels along with tomatoes. Salt and pepper them and let them drain 15 minutes.
Arrange 3 dishes: one with flour, one with eggs and the last with breadcrumbs, cheese and Herbes de Provence. Coat the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in the flour then egg then crumbs.
Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a very large pan over medium to medium-high heat. Fry eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in batches, keep them warm in low oven on a rack set over a baking sheet.
To serve, layer slices of fried eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes on rolls or bread and top with cheese, sauce, hot and sweet peppers.
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