Caputo’s Eggplant Parmigiana

2 lb eggplant
extra virgin olive oil, for frying
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Wash the eggplants, cut off the tops and slice them 1/2 inch thick, crosswise. Sprinkle with salt and arrange the slices on a plate. Top with a weight and prop the plate at an angle so the liquid will drain off. Let drain for about 2 hours. Dry the eggplants and fry in 1/2 inch of smoking-hot oil until golden. Drain the eggplant on paper towels. Meanwhile heat the garlic in the olive oil, do not brown. Add the tomatoes with some salt and pepper, cook for about 30 minutes to slightly reduce it. Spread a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce over the bottom of an oiled baking dish. Add a layer of the eggplant slices, some grated parmesan and some mozzarella slices. Scatter some basil on top. Repeat layering until the ingredients are gone. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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