This heirloom Italian family recipe came stateside with my grandmother when she immigrated from Italy. Growing up in a house that had Italian sauce being made every Sunday, this eggplant was always a favorite. Using good quality ingredients is critical for this recipe. It is very time consuming and laborious. It would be a shame to invest all of this time and effort with inferior ingredients only to be let down when you eat it later.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
50 mins
8 hrs 15 mins
9 hrs 35 mins
12 servings


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Lay eggplant slices on top of paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt to draw out moisture. Cover with additional paper towels. Let sit, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Place flour into a 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the flour and shake the bag to mix. Place 6 eggplant slices into the bag, seal, and shake to coat.

  • Beat eggs and water together using a fork in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Line baking sheets with paper towels to drain eggplants after frying.

  • Shake excess flour from eggplant slices and place into egg mixture, turning to ensure both sides are coated. Allow excess egg mixture to drip off before placing slices into the hot oil. Fry until slightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Pecorino Romano cheese. Repeat process until all eggplant slices are fried. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • Pour a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan to cover. Place 1/3 of the eggplant slices over sauce, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining Pecorino-Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly over the slices. Cover with a light layer of sauce. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over sauce. Repeat for a total of 3 layers.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes to set.


Cook's Notes:

Make sure your eggplants aren't too big or you risk seeds and possibly bitterness.

Refrigerate leftovers. I sometimes like cold eggplant the next day better than fresh out of the oven!

Nutrition Facts

569 calories; protein 35.6g; carbohydrates 33.1g; fat 32.7g; cholesterol 145.9mg; sodium 2463.2mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe is very good and it does fill the bill for a classic eggplant Parmesan. A few suggestions: 1. After salting the egg plant you do not need to wait anywhere near eight hours to extract the water from the egg plant. I weighed the egg plant at two hours and I weighed again at eight hours and there’s hardly any difference and this would indicate that you’re not getting much more water off by waiting an additional six hours. Two hours is plenty. 2. You will notice the recipe calls for salt in the flour mixture and more salt in the egg mixture and salting the egg plant. Once you salt the egg plant, this recipe does not need any more salt. There’s actually a lot of salt in tomato sauce and in cheese. you do not need to add any more salt. 3. The recipe indicates how important it is to get good ingredients. Problem is, fresh mozzarella is very soft and can’t really be grated. The best mozzarella is buffalo mozzarella and trying to great that would be like greating bread dough. Read More