3 medium size eggplants, washed, dried, stemmed and cut into 1/4 inch thick lengthwise slices.
Fine sea salt
3 cups tomato sauce
1 cup Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil
1 ball (6 ounces) fior di latte, cut into small pieces
1 bunch basil leaves
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan and when it is hot add the garlic and cook quickly; do not let the garlic burn.
Stir on the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Layer the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle the layers with salt. Cover the eggplant with a weight like a tomato can and allow the eggplant to sweat for an hour or more. Then rinse the slices and dry them well.
In a large sauté pan heat 1/3 cup of the oil until it reaches 375°F.
Fry the slices a few at a time until nicely browned and lay the slices on absorbent paper.
Continue frying the slices, adding more oil as needed.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in a 9 x 12 inch casserole dish. Lay a row of eggplant slices over the sauce. Sprinkle on a layer of fior di latte. Add another thin layer of tomato sauce, some of the Parmigiano Reggiano and a few basil leaves. Continue making layers ending with eggplant. Top with the remaining sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Bake about 45 minutes or until bubbly. Allow the eggplant to set up for about 15 minutes. Then cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: I used a Le Creuset 10 x 3 inch casserole dish and made 5 layers of eggplant.
This recipe is featured on show 2008 – The Cooking of Campania.
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