Baked Eggplant Parmigiana recipe, inspired by Mario Batali, is all about the eggplant. Thick, round stacks of eggplant encompass layers of Italian cheeses and traditional red sauce. Mario Batali is one of my favorite chefs, and he's a fellow ginger too. His rustic, authentic Italian style and combinations of flavors remind me of my grandmother, who was also a ginger. Born in Northern Italy, she cooked with fresh classic Italian spice combinations such as lemon and mint, or butter, garlic, and nutmeg. These are unlike the popular Italian American flavors many are accustomed. I'm salivating at the mere thought of her cooking. On to the eggplant!