Salt eggplant planks and drain 30 minutes on kitchen towels.
Heat a Dutch oven or saucepot over medium heat with EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and cook 5-6 minutes to sweeten and soften. Add tomato paste, oregano and chili flakes to the onions and garlic, stir to combine, then add wine and stir another minute. Add passata and whole tomatoes, break them up and stir in basil. Simmer sauce 20-30 minutes.
Set up breading station with three dishes: in one, place the flour seasoned with salt and pepper, in the second, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper and in the last, mix the breadcrumbs with grated cheese, parsley, garlic, onion, oregano, chili flakes, fennel pollen, if using.
Place a very large skillet on the stove and pour in 1/4 inch of oil; preheat over medium to medium-high heat. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place it next to the frying pan.
Bread 3 to 4 planks of eggplant at a time first in flour, shaking off excess, then the eggs, draining off any excess and lastly in the breadcrumbs, pressing the coating onto planks.
Fry eggplant in batches until deep golden and crisp; drain on wire rack.
Preheat broiler to high.
Build eggplant parm on a broiler-proof pan or baking sheet and transfer to dinner platters or use a broiler-proof sizzler pan.
Shingle 2 to 3 planks of eggplant cutlets on the pan and top with marinara, sliced mozzarella and a sprinkle of parm. Broil to brown and bubble the cheese, top with extra torn basil and serve.
Florentine-Style Baked Eggplant 'Parm'
Eggplant Steaks alla Norma