The trick to Eggplant Parmesan is to drain the eggplant slices of excess moisture first, before cooking.
2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
3 cans tomato sauce or one 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup corn meal or all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 lbs of sliced mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (can use dried - about 1 Tbsp.)
1. Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly and generously with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.
2. While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce. Combine tomato sauce with the garlic, salt, pepper and basil (finely chopped) - set aside . Or combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
3. When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl pour the cornmeal/flour. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the cornmeal/flour, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
5. Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
6. Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.