Melanzane alla parmigiana: the traditional recipe
Parmigiana di melanzane has its origin in southern Italy. The original recipe is a great way to serve aubergines. By layering them with Parmesan and tomatoes and then baking them you get an absolutely moreish, scrumptious vegetable dish.
- 2 pounds (about 2 medium-sized) eggplant
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- basic tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cans peeled whole tomatoes
Wash and towel dry the eggplant. Slice the eggplant horizontally. Then place the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to rest about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the eggplant and dry on towels.
In a saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Saute until lightly golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the pieces. On a cookie sheet lay out the 4 largest pieces of eggplant. Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each piece and place a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and top each with the next smallest slice of eggplant, then sauce then mozzarella. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients have been used, topping with the Parmigiano. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
Recommended Wine: Bolgheri DOC rosé, Gioia del Colle DOC rosé, Garda DOC Classico Groppello
Characteristics: rosé wine, still, dry, medium-bodied