This is a recipe by Buddy Valastro (The Cake Boss) Photos by Laura Spear
4 Fresh Eggplants
Bread Crumbs (Italian) to coat
Finely Chopped Parsley to taste
Sugar, Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Cloves of Garlic
Chopped Fresh Basil to taste
3 large balls of Mozzarella Cheese
1 Block of Romano cheese (grated) to taste
3 cans Hunt’s Tomatoes-Diced (1) and Crushed (2)
A pot for cooking the sauce
A pan for frying the eggplant
A casserole dish for baking
1.Coat the bottom of a pot with olive oil and turn to medium heat. Put a clove of garlic in a garlic press and press the garlic directly into the pan. You should be able to hear it sizzle. Continue with the rest of your garlic.
2. Take a can of Hunt's® crushed tomatoes, a can of Hunt's® diced tomatoes and add them to the pot. Stir and add another can of crushed tomatoes.
3. Add seasoning to taste – salt, pepper and sugar. Stir it all together and add your chopped fresh basil.
4. While that simmers for about 20 minutes begin to prepare your eggplant…
5. Coat your eggplant with breadcrumbs. Place the pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the breaded eggplant slices into the pan. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes total until they are a bit browned and crispy.
6. Place the cooked eggplant pieces on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the oil. Begin cutting your mozzarella into even slices. Grab your Romano cheese and a shaving tool and you’re ready to start baking.
7. First, coat the bottom of your casserole dish with the fresh sauce from the stove. Take a few pieces of fried eggplant and place them in the sauce until the bottom layer is full. Pour a bit of sauce over the top, shave Romano cheese and place a large slice of mozzarella cheese over each eggplant piece.
8. Add more sauce to taste and a bit of basil over each eggplant and then add another layer of eggplant following the same process: add the eggplant, more sauce, Romano and Mozzarella cheese and basil. Layer on more cheese, sauce and basil to taste.
9. Place the casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven.
10. Remove from oven when the top of the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbling. Plate and serve right out of the oven.