Melanzane alla Parmigiana
Baked Aubergine (eggplant parmigiana)
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.
are the main steps?
or fry the slices of aubergine
with a little olive oil. You may find it easier to do this in batches
and I find it helps if you use kitchen towel to remove any excess oil
from the aubergine slices once cooked.
the basic tomato sauce, follow this
recipe using onions and garlic and normal size tomatoes (or
even tinned Italian tomatoes if you can't get good fresh ones).
you have all of your aubergine slices cooked and your tomato sauce is
ready, grease an oven proof dish.
the oven proof dish create a layer
of the cooked aubergine slices, then pour over someof the tomato sauce
then tear some pieces of mozarella, grate a little parmasan and add a
few basil leaves.
step 4 building layer upon layer using up all of the
dish with aubergines into a preheated oven (about 200 degrees) and cook
for about 25 minutes
from oven, slice into portions and serve.
How should I serve it?
bowls with a further sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and some black
pepper to taste.
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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