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Marianella’s Eggplant Parmigiana

 Eggplant (2 small or 1 medium/large)
 8-10 tomatoes (or 1 quart tomato sauce), roughly chopped
 1/2 bunch Basil
 1 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 2-4 cloves Garlic
 Olive oil
 Salt and pepper

Cut off the ends of the eggplant, and then slice in 1/4 inch wide circles. Generously pour salt over top and allow to drain for 45 mins. Quickly rinse with water, and use paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This removes the bitterness, as well as makes them less spongy with the oil.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


In a saucepan pour a generous amount of olive oil, add garlic and let infuse for a minute without burning,then add tomatoes and let simmer for about 30 min. Add salt, pepper, fresh basil, and simmer until sauce consistency is reached. Purée with an immersion blender or a food mill. Keep warm. If you're short on time or fresh tomatoes, use a quart of pre-made sauce.


In a frying pan, add some olive oil and sauté the eggplant for about 2 min each side.


In a baking dish (at least 2 inches deep) start to build your layers: start with one layer of eggplant, followed by tomato sauce, and mozzarella and parmesan cheese to taste. Repeat layers and finish with tomato sauce and cheese. Cover with tinfoil.


With the oven at 350F place baking dish and bake for about 30 min. Uncover and let the cheese brown. Let it rest for at least 20 min. "The longer it rests, the stronger the flavors! Buon Appetito- Marianella"