Eggplant parmigiana (Parmigiana di melanzane)

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Eggplant parmigiana is a bit like vegetarian lasagna, with the different layers that make up this dish: tomato sauce, aubergine, mozzarella and parmesan.

It is a very popular and easy to prepare Italian dish, to be served with a small green salad, pasta (linguine for example) or as a side dish with meat.

And it’s even better the next day!

Buon appetito!

Eggplant parmigiana (Parmigiana di melanzane)

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 large & firm eggplants
  • 800 g tomatoes fresh or canned
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 30 g Parmesan cheese
  • About 150 g mozzarella di buffala
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • A few basil leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar optional
  • breadcrumbs optional

Instructions

  • Rinse the eggplants and remove the stems. Cut the eggplants lengthways into not too thick slices (4/5 mm).
  • Place the eggplants slices on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Brush the slices with olive oil.
  • Bake at 200 °C in a rotating oven. After 10 minutes, turn the eggplants over and brush again with olive oil. Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  • While the eggplants are cooking, prepare the tomato sauce. Finely chop the onion and fry in a pan with a little olive oil, stirring regularly. Finely chop the garlic and fry it with the onion.
  • While the onion and garlic are cooking, dice the tomatoes after rinsing them. Once the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the seasoning: oregano, salt and pepper and stir from time to time.
  • After 15 minutes of cooking, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, if necessary, and finely chopped fresh basil leaves. Stir and cook for another ¾ minutes and set aside.
  • Once the tomato sauce is ready and the eggplants are cooked, you can assemble the dish. Cover a medium sized casserole dish (15 cm x 20 / 22 cm) with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
  • Cover the tomato sauce with slices of eggplants, sticking together (as with lasagne, you need to cover the liquid part well). Cover the eggplants with a thin layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cut out pieces of mozzarella by hand and spread them evenly over the tomato sauce (there is no need to cover it, the mozzarella will melt).
  • Place slices of eggplants again, a thin layer of tomato sauce, sprinkle with parmesan and add pieces of mozzarella.
  • Finally, make a third layer of eggplant slices, lightly coat them with tomato sauce, and cover with the remaining mozzarella (be more generous with this last layer of mozzarella).
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. You can also add breadcrumbs (mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs together and cover the dish evenly with this mixture).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 190°C.

Notes

For an even more gourmet version, replace the last layer of mozzarella with slices of smoked scamorza.
For a more traditional version, fry the aubergines (after draining them). You can also grill, pan-fry, barbecue or steam the aubergines.
For a quicker version, you can use ready-made tomato sauce.
You can also add ingredients to your tomato sauce, for example carrots and mushrooms.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian

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