RECIPE

Ratatouille Hoagies

For a hot and hearty sub, layer a classic medley of veggies, tomato, herb and wine sauce, melted cheeses and charred peppers on fresh French bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 4-5 flat anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 long red chili peppers (hot)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can Italian tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 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

Preparation

Char the 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 the EVOO in a saucepot over medium heat. Stir in the anchovies and melt them into the EVOO. Stir in the garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then then add the wine and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add the basil and reduce to thicken the sauce.


Meanwhile, slice the eggplant into discs and cut the zucchini lengthwise. Arrange the sliced veggies on brown paper or on a few layers of paper towels along with the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then let them drain for 15 minutes.


Arrange three dishes: one with the flour, one with the eggs and the last with the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano 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 the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in batches; keep them warm in a low oven on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.


To serve, layer the slices of fried eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes on rolls or bread and top with shredded cheese, sauce and the hot and sweet peppers.

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