Melanzane alla Parmigiana
Baked Aubergine (eggplant)
should I make it?
like to make a big tray of this and if there's anything left over it
can be eaten the next day when it tastes even
if you don't want it the next day, you can freeze it in portions and
then you have a tasty meal for days when you may not have time to cook.
How long will it take?
You should allow about 45
minutes to an hour to make this dish but most of that time it is just
baking in the oven.
What ingredients do I need?
For a tray for
people you will need:
Parmesan cheese (grated) or Pecorino
Salt & Black Pepper
Can I use any alternatives if I
can find certain
Aubergines are readily available these days. I suppose you
could replace aubergines with something like courgettes
(zucchini). I'm not sure you would get the same result though as it
really is the unique texture of the aubergines that make this dish.
What preparation do I need to
do / what can I
do in advance?
aubergines should be cut length ways into 1cm slices. Depending on the
aubergines and their water content you may want to salt the slices and
cover with a dish to draw out excess water. However, this is not
normally necessary these days.
For the fresh tomato sauce please follow this
recipe using normal size tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes
and using onions and garlic.
are the main steps?
diced pancetta over a medium heat in olive oil. I like to cook the
well until crispy.
heat a pan of salted water for the pasta and add the spaghetti when the
starts to boil. Cook spaghetti in accordance with instructions. Fresh
pasta should only take about 5 minutes or less, dried pasta will take
eggs together add some black pepper and then add the pecorino and most
of the Parmesan
(reserve some to add to finished dish)
pasta once it is al dente (reserve some of the cooking water) and add
pan with the pancetta. Reduce heat to very low.
and cheese mixture over the pasta and mix well. Be careful not to allow
eggs to scramble! Add some of the reserved cooking water if it becomes
How should I serve it?
bowls with extra sprinkling of Parmesan and some black pepper to taste.
people like to drizzle a few drops of some good quality olive oil over
too just before serving.
Are there any variations to
this recipe that I could
could try using a different cheese such as a Fontina which is a tasty
cow's milk cheese from Northern Italy. It could be used as an
alternative to mozzarella.
What are the origins of this
this dish is served as a starter. There is some dispute as to the
origins although it is most likely to have come from Sicily where the
cuisine is heavily Greek influenced and the aubergine features
in the North (from Parma / Emilia Romana) argue that use of
"Parmigiana" means it must come from their region (the home of Parmesan
cheese). While Sicilians argue that its origin is in fact from the word
"Parmiciana" (which is their word for the layered
of their region which reflect the layers of the aubergine in the
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