Introduction: Parmigiana Di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmigiana)
This is a recipe that I really love because my mother teached me it when I was only a child.
Her version is heavier, but this one is not light too :)
As usual, this is how I know it, so I don't pretend to publish something precisely as tradition wants, but this is how the recipe is in my family, so family tradition!
For the skeptics about eggplant I only say: even if you don't usually like it, you will love it in this way!
I'm Stefania from Italy, by the way. Welcome to my kitchen!
Let's get started! For this recipe you will need:
- 4 eggplants (whatever variety. I like these striped one, but normal dark purple ones are ok too)
- sunflower or peanut oil
- cooked simple tomato sauce (soon the recipe!)
- 2 boiled eggs
- cheese (more delicious if it's a smoked one)
- ham steak
- grated parmigiano reggiano
Step 1: Prepare Eggplants
Since the eggplants tend to have a bitter taste, depending on whether more or less dark, we have to use something to make them less bitter and therefore more good: salt!
Usually, less dark they are, less time you have to keep them with the salt. Also, they tend to have less seeds.
In my opinion, striped ones are the best (see the first picture). Obviously, all kind of eggplants are good for this recipe. I learned to make this with the darkest eggplant!
- wash eggplant and cut away the petiole
- prepare a big colander and a salad bowl under it
- cut it in slices and put some salt on your fingers and pass it on every single slice
- wait from 1 to 3 hours depending on how dark is the eggplant
During the wait, you will notice that in the bowl there will be a dark liquid (4th picture). This is all the bitter going away!
- optional: wash and then dry every slice. (I never do that since most of the salt is washed away with the bitter)
- flour every slice and put a big pan with a lot of oil on it on the stove: high heat
- start to heat your oven too. 180°C it's ok
- fry all slices. It's not necessary to completely fry them because they will be coocked also in the oven.
A "light" version (if you really need one) is not to flour and fry eggplants, but to grill them
Step 2: Prepare Other Ingredients
Cut the eggs in small pieces and heat the tomato sauce.
Put all other ingredient on the work surface to be comfortable during the assembling of the parmigiana in baking teen.
This will be fun!
Step 3: Assembly and Cook!
Ok, this is very very simple: it's all about layers.
- put some tomato sauce at the beginning. Since it contains oil, eggplants will not stick on the teen
- then start with a layer of eggplants
- add ham steak
- add cheese
- add eggs
- add parmigiano reggiano
- add a bit of tomato sauce. Don't exceed with tomato sauce otherwise the parmigiana will be all liquid
- Repeat from step 2 until you reach the top of the baking teen
- put some parmigiano on the top
- put the teen in the oven for 15-20 minutes
Since almost everything that is inside parmigiana is already cooked, it will not take long for it to be ready.
When you see that the sauce has dried and on the top the parmigiano reggiano is melted, switch on the grill for a minute or two as long as the top do not seem crunchy.
This dish is fantastic to have very hot, but since it's not light usually one or two servings will advance. You can leave in a dish with a lid for two hours and when they are not hot anymore, you can put them on the fridge.
If you like, you can try it cold. I love it! Otherwise, you can hot it again in the microwave, in the oven or even with 5 minute in a pan.
See my other recipes here