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NONNA’S EGGPLANT PARMESAN (PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE)

Parmigiana, also parmigiana di melanzane, or melanzane alla parmigiana is an Italian dish made with sliced eggplant pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in an oven.

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 large fresh Mozzarella

Fresh bunch of Basil leaves

One small onion (chopped)

Two cloves of garlic (chopped)

1200 ml/6 cups of tomato puree

150 g grated parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

Vegetable oil (for frying)

1.5kg/3lbs tall eggplant/aubergine

4 eggs, beaten (more if needed)

Some canola or vegetable oil for frying the eggplant

 

METHOD:

PREPARING THE EGGPLANT

1. Cut the eggplant length ways into strips.

2. Line them up in a bowl and sprinkle salt over the top of them.

3. Let the eggplant slices release moisture for 2 hours.

5. After you have lightly dried each strip of eggplant using a paper towel, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs.

6. Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry each strip until golden.

7. Remove it from the oil and place it onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

 

THE SAUCE:

1. Put a bit of olive oil into a pot. When it heats up, add the chopped carrot, onion and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat until soft but not browned.

2. Add the tomato puree. Cook the sauce for around 20 minutes

3. Add some fresh basil leaves and stir them through

3. Cook the sauce for around 20 minutes on a low heat or it will thicken too much. Continue to stir the sauce every few minutes.

4. Finish off the sauce with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil and the fresh basil leaves

 

THE DISH

1. Preheat the oven to 200⁰C/395⁰F

2. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce all over the bottom of your baking tray.

3. Add the fried eggplant, forming a complete layer

4. Add another layer of sauce over the eggplant.

5. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella over the top and then grate the parmesan cheese over it.

6. Next, add another layer or eggplant strips over the top and repeat the process.

7. Repeat this once again but don’t add the mozzarella when you get to the top, just the parmesan!

8. Bake the dish at 200⁰C/395⁰F for about 30-40 minutes.

9. Wait around 15-20 minutes for the eggplant parmigiana to cool before serving.

 

 

 

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