This is for those nights when you crave the unadulterated pleasure of old-fashioned red-sauce Italian. Slabs of melted mozzarella top chunks of soft, meaty eggplant, bits of still-crisp bacon, and tender chicken—all simmered in smoky tomato sauce. Serve it with Italian semolina bread to round out the meal.

Browning the ingredients in stages may seem like extra work, but it is worth it. The process enhances the distinct flavors and helps build the character of the final dish—and dinner will still be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

From Hero Dinners by Marge Perry and David Bonom. Copyright © 2019 by Marge Perry and David Bonom. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Chicken and Eggplant Margherita

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    Good food
    brings
    people together.
    So do
    good emails.

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