Stack eggplant slices in a colander
, each piece sprinkled with sea salt. Weigh the slices with a large, full can of tomatoes or other weight and set aside in the kitchen sink so that juices run free. After 1 hour, rinse and pat dry.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and saute eggplant
slices until golden brown on both sides, working in batches if necessary and removing cooked eggplant to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Cook the penne in the boiling water until not quite done; about 5 minutes. Drain
the pasta and toss with 3/4 cup of tomato sauce.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Grease
a glass or ceramic oven dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the bottom of the dish with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce
. Top with half the bread crumbs, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add half the cooked pasta, then half of the eggplant slices, arranged in a layer. Drizzle
about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over, and top with half the grated cheese
and torn basil
leaves. Repeat the process with remaining tomato sauce, bread crumbs
, eggplant, cheese, and basil.
Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and bake in oven for 1 hour. Let rest 30 minutes before serving.