Tenders so crispy they’ll melt your mind. Homemade tomato sauce you’ll want to drink by the spoonful. And a whole lotta’ ooey-gooey cheese. This is comfort food, leveled up.
Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet filled with 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, carefully place daring Breaded Pieces into the hot oil and lower heat to medium. Shallow fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and deep brown. Remove fried pieces from the skillet to a paper towel-lined tray or wire rack and immediately sprinkle with salt. Carefully discard the oil and wipe out any crumbs from the skillet.
Set the same skillet over medium-low heat, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add tomato paste and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes more until the onions and garlic are stained brick red.
Add canned tomatoes and butter to the skillet. Using kitchen scissors, gently cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces so they cook quickly and evenly. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half and thickened considerably. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust for salt as needed.
Preheat broiler on high with a rack inserted at the highest level of your oven. While the broiler heats, gentle nestle the daring breaded pieces into the tomato sauce, scatter the torn mozzarella on top and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with black pepper. Place on the top rack of your oven directly beneath the heating element and broil for 4 to 7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown in spots. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
To serve, spoon into bowls, either on top of your favorite variety of pasta or alongside crusty bread for mopping up every last drop of sauce. Garnish with fresh herbs and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese.