This scrumptious and attractive dish is adapted from Food52.
- 3 lbs. eggplant Choose the large variety. Make sure they are firm and smooth. Also, choose male eggplants that have fewer seeds and a rounder, smoother bottom
- 1 cup flour
- generous amounts of olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 lb. buffalo-milk mozzarella I prefer regular grated mozzarella
- 2-28 oz. cans of San Marzano preferred canned, whole, peeled tomatoes (add another can if you want extra sauce left over)
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- Peel the eggplant and slice long ways into 1/4 inch slices.
- Sprinkle each layer with salt and place into a colander, overlapping as you go. Place a plate or heavy weight atop colander and let the eggplant sweat for 30 minutes, or more.
- While the eggplant sweats, make the sauce.
- Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until it sizzles (do not brown the garlic). Add the canned, whole tomatoes with juice and salt. Stir and chop coarsely using hands or a potato masher. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by almost half.
- Remove the eggplant from the colander and pat each slice dry.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover the bottom of a baking sheet, or two, with olive oil.
- Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, shaking off any excess. Place on the baking sheets and drizzle the each slice with olive oil. Bake until brown on one side (about 15 minutes, or so), turn and brown on other side. Repeat until you have cooked all the eggplant. Using a 7x11 baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom and top with eggplant slices to completely covers the bottom.
- Sprinkle generously with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Add another layer of sauce and then the eggplant. Continue to build the layers until you are about two layers from the top, then add a single layer of sliced mozzarella. Finish with a couple more layers of eggplant, sauce, and parmesan. Finish the top with parmesan.
- Bake on the upper third of a 400 degree oven. Check after 20 minutes. Press down on the eggplant to draw off any excess liquid. Cook for another 15 minutes or so. Let stand at least 15 or 20 minutes before serving. Serves 6.