Grease sometimes gives this dish a bad rap. The trick is to fry the breaded eggplant quickly over high heat, so it doesn't absorb too much oil, then drain on paper towels to remove any excess.


Recipe Summary



Breading and Frying


Instructions Checklist
  • Bread and fry the eggplant: Combine breadcrumbs, pecorino Romano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Put flour, eggs, and breadcrumb mixture in 3 separate dishes. Dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  • Heat oil in large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. (Oil is ready when a breadcrumb sizzles when dropped in.) Working in batches, fry eggplant until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. (If oil gets too dirty, discard, and heat an additional 1/4 cup.)

  • Assemble the dish: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant on top, overlapping slightly. Top with 1 cup sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup pecorino Romano. Repeat twice to form layers with eggplant, sauce, then cheeses. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.

Cook's Notes

Making breadcrumbs is easy and inexpensive.Grate day-old bread against the large holesof a box grater, chop it with a bread knife, orpulse pieces in a food processor. Store in anairtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Reviews (2)

33 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 9
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4.0 stars
Here's a happy medium...air frying!
Rating: 5 stars
Frying is fine, but baking is better. Has much less oil. Just spray your baking sheet before adding the breaded eggplant. Also, spray the tops lightly. Cook until tender. We love it this way! My daughter suggested that I do it and she was right! Be sure to add fresh basil to your sauce. Magnifico!
Rating: 4 stars
First you need to salt eggplant rounds and "sweat'" them to reduce liquid from eggplant. If you bread eggplant and let sit for 30 min. without "sweating" the liquid from eggplant will come through and make breading soggy. Even if you "sweat" eggplant rounds first, put bread eggplant in fridge to sit for 30 min to reduce additional "sweating" into breading. I liked it with these changes - otherwise breading would be soggy and fall apart when fried. Also, to make main dish, use thinly sliced beef, seasoned and browned in olive oil in each layer.