2 tablespoons butter
1 large clove garlic, smashed
1/2 small onion, peeled
1 (28- or 32-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes (look for DOP on the label)
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
16 slices (about 1/4-inch thick) green tomatoes
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (cow or sheep’s milk)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped garlic chives (see Note)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Flour, for dredging
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Olive oil, for shallow-frying
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add the garlic and stir 1 minute. Add the onion half and the tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes a bit. Stir in basil and a little salt. Simmer for 20 minutes, then discard the onion. Keep the sauce warm while you assemble and fry the green tomatoes.
While the sauce is simmering, prep the green tomatoes and make the stuffing: Salt the tomato slices and drain on paper towels or a kitchen towel for 20 minutes, turning once. Stir together the ricotta, thyme, chives, garlic chives, and chopped parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Line up 3 shallow bowls on the counter. Spread out the flour in one; beat the eggs in the second; and mix together the panko, Parm, cornmeal, granulated onion, granulated garlic, and finely chopped parsley in the third.
Dollop the ricotta mixture onto 8 of the tomato slices and top with the remaining tomatoes. Coat the “sandwiches” first in flour, then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mix, pressing to make sure the coating sticks.
Heat 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the stuffed tomato sandwiches and fry about 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot with the sauce.
You could use 2 chopped garlic cloves instead of the garlic chives.