I grew up in a place where eggplant was breaded and fried.
And it was good.
But while preparing an eggplant parmigiana for some house guests over the holidays, I did not crack an egg or touch a single crumb of bread.
This was also good.
Behold, the best roasted eggplant parm I have ever made. (With apologies to certain members of la famiglia; you know who you are.)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Peel the eggplant (or not; I go both ways on this) and cut slices that are at least 1/4-inch thick (I go thicker than that even). Then it's onto a baking sheet with a good dose of Kosher salt, ground black pepper and olive oil.
Roast until nicely browned. (I flipped the slices once so that both sides could char a bit.)
Make a simple sauce. This one's got olive oil, garlic, hot pepper, a couple anchovy fillets (yes, anchovies), a handful of basil and some San Marzanos. And it only cooked for about half an hour.
Layer it all up, with fresh mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake in the oven at 375 F for around 45 minutes and that's that.
I like my eggplant parm at room temperature, so it always sits quite a bit before I'll dig in.
On this particular occasion, a couple of house guests tried to stage a premature and completely unauthorized taste while it was still hot. These efforts, I'm happy to report, were thwarted.
As for the guests, let's just say they won't be trying that again anytime soon. Capeesh?