Eggplant – about 3 pounds sliced lengthwise in ¼ inch slices
8 oz fresh mozzarella ripped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup flour
2 cups extra virgin olive oil – EVOO – can use virgin oil
Parmigiano Reggiano – 1 cup freshly grated
Tomato sauce – recipe below
Salt sliced eggplant and leave with a weight on top for an hour in a colander over sink to rid of excess moisture. Then wipe off salt and pat well with paper towels. (You can skip this step if you use small Japanese eggplants or eggplants that don’t exude bitter juices)
Flour them lightly then fry in ½ inch hot EVOO (extra virgin olive oil- which has a higher smoke point than virgin olive oil). 2 minutes per side placing on paper towels when done. Use paper towel to absorb excess oil – (or just drink that liquid gold haha ). Make sure not to crowd eggplant when frying as it lowers the oil temp. Insure oil is hot but not smoking between batches.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce (Recipe below) on bottom of 8x9ish baking dish, layer fried eggplant slices with more tomato sauce, grated REAL Parmigiano cheese then a good soft mozzarella ripped in small pieces. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used. Finish with mozzarella on final layer. It won’t be covered with sauce or cheese but it all melds together in the oven. Bake at 400° for 20 – 30 minutes or until bubbling- let rest 10 minutes before serving
Tomato sauce recipe:
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic – chopped
28 oz can tomatoes: Stateside I use Muir Glen or Hunts , in Italy it’s Mutti or Pommi
Chili pepper– optional if you like a kick – whole in pieces or flakes
Sauté onion and garlic in EVOO until onion is soft with optional Chili pepper, add tomatos and cook about 10 min. Blend all with an immersion blender. Turn off heat and add fresh basil ripped into pieces. Season with salt and pepper.