1 eggplant, medium size
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 450°
Peel (or not peel) and cut eggplant crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to brush the tops of the eggplant slices. Sprinkle tops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper.
Roast the slices until bottoms and sides are slightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Flip the slices over, brush with rest of the tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp and golden, another 5 minutes.
When finished roasting, remove pan from oven.
Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
While eggplant slices are roasting, prepare the tomato sauce. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, approximately 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Cover bottom of a 11 x 7 inch baking dish with about 1/2 inch of the tomato sauce. Place a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce and top with some of the basil. Cover with a thin layer of tomato sauce and repeat until all of the eggplant slices are used up; reserve some of the basil for serving. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, the remaining salt, lots of black pepper, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and the sauce has thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Let dish rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Garnish with the remaining basil.
Note: You will not even miss the Parmesan. It is that good!