Parmigiana di Melanzane

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Parmigiana di Melanzane

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1.2 Kg Eggplant Oblong eggplants
500 ml Tomato puree
300 g Mozzarella Mozzarella cheese
1/2 Onion
100 g Parmesan cheese Grated
1 clove Garlic
1 bunch Basil
1 l Frying oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Flour

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Ingredients

Directions

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There are those who call it just Parmigiana, those who put the ingredient before it by referring to it as Melanzane alla parmigiana, and those who use the more accredited wording: Parmigiana di Melanzane. It is always, however, one of the tastiest and most beloved recipes for Italians.

Here we propose the version as close as possible to the original, to tradition. And speaking of tradition, let’s start by saying that melanzane (eggplant) is fried. Some versions of this unique dish, revisited, in fact involve the use of grilled eggplant, the result is excellent but nothing to do with the real Parmigiana, which wants them fried, without discount.

As for the origin of this recipe, if Sicily and Neapolitan hold it (Parma’s foreignness to the dish is now well known). However ‘parmigiana’ seems to originate from ‘parmiciana,’ even according to the Accademia della Crusca (an Italian institution with public legal personality that brings together scholars and experts in linguistics and philology of the Italian language), a Sicilian term used to indicate a kind of ‘persiana’ composed of wooden slats.

Variations of this dish are numerous, as is often the case with iconic dishes of Italian cuisine. In addition to the version with grilled eggplant, some recipes call for the use of egg, others use cooked ham, and one could go on. Cook them however you like but know that this is the version from which the myth started!

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Steps

1
Done

To prepare the Parmigiana di Melanzane first wash the eggplant, peel it and cut it into slices about half an inch thick lengthwise. Once cut arrange the slices in layers in a colander, sprinkle salt between each layer. This procedure is helpful in purging the eggplant. Place the colander on a plate or in a bowl and cover it, with a plate or better yet a weight pressing them down. Leave them for 1 hour or as long as it takes for the vegetable water to be lost. When the eggplants have lost it, pat them dry (no need to wash them again).

2
Done

Sauté the chopped onion and crushed garlic with 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, remove the garlic, add the tomato puree, basil, salt and pepper and cook the sauce for 15-20 minutes (some people add half a teaspoon of sugar).

3
Done

Now roll the eggplant in flour. This step in the process is not done by everyone; some recipes do not call for flouring. Fry the eggplants a few at a time, in plenty of frying oil, hot, let them brown on both sides. Once fried take care to lay them on absorbent kitchen paper, without overlapping them.

4
Done

Cut the mozzarella into slices. Now begin to assemble the Parmigiana di Melanzane. In an oven dish pour some of the sauce on the bottom and arrange a layer of eggplant, top with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, the basil and the mozzarella slices.

5
Done

Continue with the layers, following the same order, until you run out of ingredients. Ideally, if you have the time, you should allow the Parmigiana to compact for a couple of hours before baking at this point, letting it cool. Bake in a hot oven at 180°C (356°F) for 30 minutes.

6
Done

Remove from the oven and let rest at room temperature. It is well known that Parmigiana di Melanzane guarantees an excellent result if served the day after it is prepared.

Eatsitaly

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