- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup (1 oz) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup (4 ounces) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Slice eggplant crosswise into ½-inch slices. Lay slices in single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Flip slices and sprinkle with another ½ teaspoon salt. Let rest for 20 minutes while preparing breading.
- Combine panko, Parmesan, oregano, salt and black pepper in bowl of food processor. Process until finely ground, about 15-20 seconds. Transfer to a shallow dish.
- Place flour in a second shallow dish. Lightly whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons water in a third shallow dish.
- Use paper towels or a clean dish towel to dry the eggplant slices, pressing firmly on both sides to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Working in batches, toss eggplant in flour and shake off any excess. Dip eggplant in egg and allow excess to drain off. Dredge eggplant in panko mixture, ensuring all sides are well crusted. If there are any extra breadcrumbs, reserve them to sprinkle on top of casserole.
- Place eggplant on the airfry rack in a single layer, in two batches if necessary. Reserve remaining eggplant on a dry baking pan.
- Select AIRFRY/375°F/SUPER CONVECTION/20 minutes and press START to preheat oven.
- Cook in rack position 4 until brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
- While eggplant is cooking, make the sauce.
- Pour tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl and crush with your hands. Alternatively, blend with an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother sauce.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden, about 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
- Simmer sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and reserve.
- Insert wire rack in rack position 4. Select BAKE/400°F/CONVECTION/10 minutes and press START to preheat oven.
- Spread ¼ cup marinara sauce on bottom of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in the dish.
- Sprinkle eggplant with half of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan. Spoon 1 cup sauce over the cheese.
- Repeat layering with remaining eggplant and mozzarella and half of the remaining Parmesan. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and 2 tablespoons reserved breadcrumb mixture (optional).
- Bake casserole until bubbly and golden brown on top, 10-15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve with extra marinara sauce.