Eggplant parmigiana ( in Italian: parmigiana di melanzane or just simply parmigiana) is one of the most popular dishes throughout Italy. It is made of deep-fried , sliced eggplants layered with tomatoe sauce, basil and cheese (preferably parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, mozzarella, scamorza or caciocavallo). A real comfort food that your Italian nonna has surely prepared for you.
It is still not sure whether it is originally coming from Puglia or Sicily and the two regions are having serious discussions on the origin of this dish. However, now it is found everywhere across the country.
And this is how to prepare it:
- 1,5 kgs of eggplant
- 1,4 litres of tomatoe sauce
- 500 gramms of mozzarella
- 150 gramms of parmigiano reggiano
- half of an onion
- extra vergin olive oil
- sunflower oil to deep-fry the eggplants
Wash the eggplants and cut them into 4-5 mm thin slices. Place the slices into a colander and pour some salt in it so that they lose some water that would only give bitter taste to your dish. Leave it for an hour. In the meantime cut the mozzarella into small cubes.
Chop the onion, pour a bit of olive oil in a saucepan and start frying the onion gently until it gets a nice colour. Then add the tomatoe sauce and let it cook for about forty minutes. In the meantime fry the eggplant slices.
Then the fun begins. Get an ovenproof dish and start laying the eggplant slices in it. Once you cover the bottom, spoon some tomatoe sauce on the eggplants, spice it with some pepper and put some mozzarella on it and repeat it until you have filled the dish. Bake for 40 minutes at 200° .
Taste also farinata, a perfect substitute for pizza!