The classics never seem to go out of style. An ultimate comfort food the whole family will love, this classic eggplant parmigiana is worth the labor or love for the leftovers alone. Slices of tender eggplant coated in crispy seasoned breadcrumbs, and then layered with melted cheeses & rich marinara sauce is one of the most successful dishes of the Mediterranean tradition, Italian, and a Italian-American cuisine.
- 2 large eggplants
- 8 large eggs
- Vegetable oil, grapeseed oil or any oil a high smoke point for frying
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs, either store bought or homemade 6-8 cups (you can use panko if you prefer)
- Freshly chopped parsley for the breadcrumbs
- Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for the breadcrumbs.
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 6+ cups of marinara sauce
- 1-2 large salted fresh mozzarella balls, sliced into rounds and patted dry on paper or tea towels to absorb excess for at least 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 18 basil leaves
- Slice eggplant: remove stem from eggplant then slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices, leaving the skin on.
- Sweat eggplant: arrange slices on a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt on both sides. Let sit and "sweat" excess moisture for 30 minutes. Pat firmly with paper towels to dry eggplant thoroughly (wipe off salt as well).
- Bread eggplant: arrange two large bowls containing whisked eggs and breadcrumb mixture (dredging in flour as a first step is optional). First, dip eggplant rounds into eggs, and then dip into breadcrumbs – pack onto eggplant and then gently shake off excess crumbs. Wipe hands with paper towel then repeat.
- Pan frying method: in a large skillet pan, add 3-4 tablespoon of oil at a time, and when the oil is hot and glistening, cook breaded eggplant for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Lay on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Repeat until all eggplant has been fried.
- Assemble: in a large casserole dish, spread a generous layer of marinara on the bottom. Then layer: eggplant slices, a spoonful of sauce, mozzarella, basil leaf, and grated Pecorino Romano. Repeat an additional layer (breaded eggplant, marinara, mozzarella, basil, and grated Pecorino).
- Bake: Then bake at 400°F uncovered for 30 minutes until cheese is browned and melted. Top with chopped fresh basil & and serve!