Maggiano's Little Italy Eggplant Parmesan
2 lbs. (about 2 large) eggplants
4 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2-cup fine dry breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds or shredded
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-cup fresh basil leaves
Slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a heavy object and allow to drain for 2 hours.
While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3-cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
After eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture.
Combine flour and breadcrumbs in a shallow pan. Mix well.
Pour eggs into another wide shallow bowl.
Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and add about a half-inch of olive oil. Dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg.
When oil is shimmering, working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a large glass-baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the fried eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with tomato sauce and Parmesan.
Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve atop a side of pasta such as vermicelli or spaghetti and ladle on some extra sauce.
For extra sauce—double the sauce recipe, or use a high quality marinara sauce such as La Famiglia Del Grosso.
Recipe: Kosher, copycat, dairy