Eggplant Parmigiana (in Italian: Parmigiana di Melanzane) is a classic dish, made of eggplants and parmesan cheese. It is very delicious and rich, full of nice cheese and tasty vegetables. It requires some time for preparation but it's totally worth it: Parmigiana is one of the dishes you should certainly try in your life.
But being a bit of time consuming, doesn't mean it is complicated! I promise you, everyone can make this delicious Italian recipe by following the instructions below.
History of the dish
The origin of the famous Parmigiana di Melanzane is attributed to three different parts of Italy: Emilia Romagna, Sicily and Naples. The eggplants were brought to the country from the arabs and most probably initially the dish was similar to moussaka. It is considered that its name comes from the Sicilian language. However the first version of Parmigiana was registered in a cookbook written by a Neapolitan chef. Last but not least, the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which is a crucial ingredient, comes from the city of Parma in Emilia Romagna. Most probably, however, this cheese was introduced at a later stage, therefore the dish must have southern origins.
There are many different versions of the Eggplant Parmigiana recipe, as it happens with all the famous dishes. However some of the main ingredients are present in all the recipes:
- Eggplants (or aubergines)
- Tomato sauce
- Olive Oil
- Parmigiano-Reggiano and Mozzarella, or its softer version fiordilatte: these are the cheeses used in the classic recipe. However in some parts of Italy like Naples and Sicily they are often substituted by other local cheeses.
It is not a big challenge to make a Parmigiana, you just need to follow its steps. The hardest part is to fry patiently all the eggplant slices. Other than that you need to cook the tomato sauce with onion and garlic and then layer all the ingredients into a pan and bake it.
Find the detailed instructions and ingredient quantities below the post, in the recipe card.
I hope you will like this simple classic Parmigiana recipe! It is very tasty and is definitely worth trying. The taste of the mozzarella and parmigiano together with the eggplants is so good and the basil and tomato flavour complements them perfectly.
You may also like the following Italian recipes:
Did you like this recipe? Let me know in the comments what you think about it!
If you like the blog, subscribe to receive new recipes every week!
Simple Eggplant Parmigiana
- 3 medium eggplants about 800 g
- 3 cups/ 720 ml tomato passata pureed tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- basil to taste one small bunch
- 1 cup/ 90 g parmesan freshly grated
- 8,8 oz/ 250 g mozzarella cheese
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat one tbsp olive oil in a saucepan. Cook the garlic cloves and the chopped onion in it until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the tomato passata and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add salt, pepper and few basil leaves and remove from heat.
- Slice the eggplants lengthwise into thin slices. Use a non stick pan or a skillet to fry them (or cook them) in the rest of the olive oil.
- Slice the mozzarella and grate the parmesan. Remove the garlic cloves from the tomato sauce.
- Start arranging the layers: pour a bit of the tomato sauce in a baking dish (not too large). Arrange eggplant slices on top, without leaving space in between. Arrange some mozzarella on top. Sprinkle basil leaves and top generously with grated parmesan. Continue the process until finishing all ingredients: tomato sauce - eggplants - mozzarella - basil - parmesan - tomato sauce.
- Finish with tomato sauce but keep aside a bit of the parmesan and mozzarella for the end.
- Bake at 400 degrees F/ 200 degrees C for about 30 minutes or until golden-brown.
- Before the last 10 minutes top the parmigiana with the remaining cheeses. Switch the oven to top baking only.
- Let cool for 15-30 minutes before serving.
- Mozzarella Fiordilatte is the best for this recipe but you can use a regular one too.
You may also like...