Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

This dish goes by a number of totally different names outdoors of Italy: eggplant parm, eggplant parmesan, eggplant parmigiana… In Italy, it’s identified by just one: Parmigiana di Melanzane. It’s an extremely scrumptious baked dish, with layers of fried eggplant slices, cheese, tomato sauce, and basil.


Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

The place is Parmigiana di Melanzane From?

A controversial topic in Italy!

One idea is that it comes from the town of Parma. Is smart, contemplating the identify, proper? Not so quick, as a result of the time period “parmigiana” has been linked to numerous Sicilian phrases akin to “damigiana” (a kind of wicker casserole dish), “palmigiana” (a sort of louver shutter harking back to the eggplant layers in look), and “parmiciana” (which implies “Persian”).

In any case, the earliest written recipes come from Naples, the place the dish as we all know it at this time definitely developed. It’s a basic in Napoli, the place they generally even exchange the tomato sauce with their tremendous wealthy ragù alla Napoletana!

The right way to Deal with the Eggplants

Whereas the eggplants should be fried, they don’t must be battered (opposite to widespread conception). Don’t dip them in egg, don’t dip them in bread crumbs, don’t dip them in flour. The great thing about fried eggplants is the interaction between the oil and vegetable—it’s a magical course of that shouldn’t be interrupted!

One widespread approach is salting eggplants previous to cooking with them, a measure which helps suck out extra moisture and may even assist to sweeten the vegetable. It is a trick that Italians not often use because it’s utterly pointless with high-quality, in-season produce. In the event you dwell within the North America like us, you most likely solely have entry to eggplants that are bred to be as large and waterlogged as attainable. Therefore, this trick is sort of helpful at instances.

In the event you really feel this step is critical, flippantly salt the eggplant slices and allow them to drain in a colander for an hour or two previous to frying.

The right way to Make the Excellent Eggplant Parmigiana

One of many greatest frustrations with making a superb parmigiana is making an attempt to maintain the dish from turning into too moist, a very frequent downside in North America the place eggplants are fairly watery (see above). To treatment this, strive cooking down the tomato sauce in order that it’s thicker, and drain the chopped mozzarella in a single day to shed as a lot liquid as attainable. It will end in the absolute best outcome and a scrumptious parmigiana!


Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

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Serving Dimension: 4-6

Cook dinner Time: 2-3 hours

For this recipe, you will have:

Thinly slice the eggplants into cross-section discs. Meanwhile, fill a deep frying pan with 1 inch of oil and bring up to medium/high heat. Like every Italian nonna, we never use a thermometer when frying. Instead, we just drop a small piece of eggplant in the oil when it’s hot. If it starts to bubble and fry right away, the oil is hot enough to fry! No need to overthink it.

Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, drop the eggplant slices in and fry until they are lightly golden and wrinkled. Remove the eggplants with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain, and sprinkle them with salt.

Preheat an oven to 370 degrees F (185 C).

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Cover this with a single layer of slightly overlapping eggplant slices. Over the eggplant, spread some chopped mozzarella, some torn pieces of basil, and a generous grating of Parmigiano cheese. Spread another thin layer of sauce and repeat all the above steps until you have layered all the eggplant. Finish by covering the top in an even spread of tomato sauce and plenty of grated cheese.

Cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook the parmigiana a further 30-45 minutes, or until the top is beginning to crisp.

Let the dish cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Optionally, serve it cold instead of warm.

Buon appetito!

Want more eggplant recipes? Check out a whole video we made all about our favorites: