As you may know by now, I date an Italian who is as cliche as you can get. From saying ‘Mamma mia” when he is excited to refusing to eat Domino’s pizza, you can get more Italian than Cris. That is why if you like discovering authentic recipes, this is the post for you. Learn the step-by-step on how to make authentic Parmigiana di Melanzane
Hi girls, welcome back.
How has the quarantine been treating you? Here in Barcelona it’s been officially 2 months and a half of an intense government-imposed lockdown that was definitely an experience.
I spent the quarantine with my Italian boyfriend of 2+ years and our roommate, who is his good friend also from Rome. This to say that I’ve been in total lockdown with Mario and Luigi and living with 2 Italian men is certainly interesting.
When the quarantine started, both my boyfriend and our roommate panicked and ran to our local Italian market here in Barcelona. There, they seemingly bought the entire market’s produces, from cold cuts to pasta, sauces and even Italian bread (go figure).
All this to say that even though we all live in Barcelona, our quarantine couldn’t feel more Italian.
I thank God every day for having been blessed with a fast metabolism because we are literally (and I mean literally) eating pasta EVERY.DAY.FOR.THE.PAST.TWO.MONTHS!
You name it, we ate it: Ragu, Pesto, Carbonara, Amatriciana, Aglio i Olio, Cacio e Pepe, Sugo, Pizza, Lasagna, Ghnocchi etc (and we ate everything more than once).
Every once in a while, I would share some of our cooking moments in my Instagram stories. After having so many people asking me for recipes, I decided why not write a dedicated post to a recipe I imagine to be worthwhile sharing.
And nothing better to share with you guys than an authentic Parmigiana, made by two proud Romans.
WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE?
If you’ve never heard of the word Parmigiana before, it is kinda like an eggplant lasagna. In short words, it is the vegetarian sister of our dear ol’ lasagna: sort of lighter, healthier and just as delicious.
Originally from the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily, the Parmigiana is usually made with a shallow or deep-fried sliced eggplant filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked on the oven.
How to make authentic Parmigiana di Melanzane | STEP-BY-STEP
- Slice fresh the eggplants (aubergine) into very thin slices.
- Brush with olive oil then either grill or pan-fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Season with salt and set aside.
- Make the tomato sauce by softening a chopped onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to brown then add garlic and herbs.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Allow the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes until it’s reduced slightly.
- Layer the cooked eggplant with the sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
- Place the Parmigiana di Melanzane in the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes then serve topped with fresh basil.
FIND THE FULL RECIPE FOR AUTHENTIC PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE BELOW:
- 3 large eggplant/aubergine sliced into 1cm slices
- 150 g (2/3 cup) mozzarella
- 100 g (1 cup) Parmesan cheese grated
For the sauce
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 800 g (28oz) chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill in a hot griddle pan for 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- To make the sauce, sauté the onion in a saucepan in a splash of oil until soft and translucent.
- Allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly.
- To assemble the bake, layer the grilled eggplant with the sauce and cheese in an oven-proof dish, reserving some of the mozzarella for the topping.
- Place the dish in the oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve with salad/bread of your choice.