When I was living in Italy, my Italian boyfriend’s mom (who was an amazing cook) showed me how to make eggplant parmesan, or ‘la parmigiana’. And so every summer, when the eggplant (le melanzane), tomatoes (i pomodori) and basil (il basilico) are in season, it’s time to prepare this delicious dish! The first step is to prepare the tomato sauce so it can cook for about an hour and a half. If you have ripe tomatoes, you can cut up around 6-10 depending on their size. If you are short on time, or short on tomatoes, you can use a can-my preferred choice is the 28 oz can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes. (use 2). In a sauce pan, begin by sautéing garlic and onion. Add tomatoes and then cut up fresh basil. Add salt to taste. Let simmer for at least an hour. The eggplant need to be sliced into .5 inches, rolled in egg and then bread crumbs and fried until soft. Depending on the size of the eggplant, you’ll decide how many to fry. For two large eggplants, I usually use about 12 slices. Slice up mozzarella cheese and cut up more basil. Then you can proceed to layer everything into your cooking dish-I use a pyrex 9×13 size. Do two layers in this order: eggplant, a layer of sauce, slices of mozzarella, sprinkles of basil. Top with a layer of parmesan cheese and then bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Buon appetito!