The Eggplant is the STAR in this recipe!
NO globs of mozzarella on top or in it!
Years of watching my mom and my relatives make eggplant with their various little deviations led me as a teenager to try my hand at it! I love it so much! This is my family’s way to make it.
I prefer to use the milder grated Romano cheese, but if you like Parmesan cheese, or a mix of grated cheeses, use whatever you like!
The technique to making eggplant parmigiana this way has to be followed exactly so it ends up NOT GREASY at all. THE EGGPLANT IS THE STAR and not globs of mozzarella cheese! Or excess oil!
I use many PAPER TOWELS, on the bottom and on the top of the slices right after they come out of the fry pan. Also I blot them until I see no oil come off on the paper. This is what keeps the oil off the eggplant slices.
It is fried, but if you take this extra care to fry it quickly and absorb the oil with PAPER TOWELS, you will have success! I absorb and blot the oil A LOT! Get a roll of paper towels ready because I use double layers of paper towels between the pieces to absorb all the excess oil, pressing down and changing the paper towels as needed.
You can bake the eggplant slices in the oven first before assembling the casserole, or fry them in the air fryer, but to me it just does not taste the same as frying them very quickly and blotting them heavily with the paper towels.
I have gotten so many requests for this recipe over the years! Many co-workers asked me for the recipe so I had them over to my house for an eggplant making lesson with a lunch of it and some for them to take home! We peeled eggplant by the bushels that memorable day!
I finally put the recipe to pen and paper and added it to my recipe box! I happily pass it on in my website.
See more pictures how I make it in the slideshow below.
- Paper Towels!
- 2 Fry Pans or Electric Skillets
- 2 eggplants extra large, or 4 medium size
- 1 ½ cups flour (you may need a little more)
- 5 eggs beaten
- 3 cups canola oil (but only 1 ½ cups are actually used)
- 5 cups tomato sauce
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 tablespoons Romano cheese grated or cheese of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 350º.
- Line trays or cookie sheets with double layers of paper towels. Set aside.
- Peel and slice the eggplant into ½-inch discs or slice oblong.
- Divide the oil between the two skillets, and preheat the oil to medium high, 350 º.
- Fill one long oblong dish with the flour and another one with the beaten eggs.
- Dip the eggplant slices into the flour first, then dip them in egg.
- Place the slices in the heated oil; it should sizzle slightly.
- Fry them on each side until golden brown.
- Put the eggplant slices on your prepared trays. With additional paper towels press down on the slices to blot excess oil. Change the paper towels on the bottom if needed and on the top.
- When you have one layer of eggplant fried, salt that layer with about ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Top the seasoned eggplant slices with another double layer of paper towels and repeat the process until you have about 5 layers.
- Cover the entire bottom of a 13×9-inch casserole dish with about 1 cup of tomato sauce.
- Place one layer of the fried eggplant slices on top of the tomato sauce.
- Put 1 cup of tomato sauce over the eggplant slices.
- Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of grated Romano cheese on top of the sauce.
- Repeat the layers of eggplant slices, sauce, and Romano cheese until you have about five layers.
- Bake uncovered in the preheated 350º oven for 30-40 minutes or until it is bubbly on the sides.
- Serve immediately.
- Store the eggplant casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
to die for!
Thanks, Bill! I know how much you love this!
Same sentiment goes back to you, dear Karen! Wish we lived closer! We had such a nice time at the wedding! Our Moms were such great cooks, weren’t they! I learned so much from all our family’s cooks! Shortcuts with eggplant parm just don’t taste the same as the way they did it! Wish I could share a piece with you right now! Thanks for writing!
HI Angie – this looks so delicious I feel like I could eat it off the screen. Made me think about lots of family gatherings over the years for confirmations, graduations, etc. and my mom. Unfortunately, no one in my family likes eggplant except me. Wish you lived closer. I’d love to spend more time with you. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It warmed my heart. Karen D,