Parmigiana (Parmigiana with eggplant or Parmigiana di Melanzane) is an Italian dish in which eggplant slices layered with tomato sauce and cheese are baked in the oven. This dish is most often served warm, although it can also be served cold, but for me it tastes best when served warm. Both dinner and lunch are a good opportunity to serve this simple dish, either as an appetizer or as an addition to the main course.
To prepare the eggplant casserole, I start by cutting, salting, flouring and frying the vegetable. I salt the eggplant to get rid of its bitterness, because unfortunately it is very often bitter. In the meantime, I make tomato sauce using tomato passata, basil, onion and garlic. I form the casserole by arranging alternating layers of fried eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan, and I also sprinkle each layer with a few fresh basil leaves. I bake the whole thing until the cheese is well browned and chewy. As a main course, I serve eggplant parmigiana with a light salad based on green lettuce, and if I use it as an addition, I serve it with roasted poultry and toast. I encourage you to go for this recipe for parmigiana with eggplant and I wish you a happy meal.
Ingredients for eggplant Parmigiana.
- 1 kg eggplant
- 3 full tablespoons of flour
- 800 ml tomato passata
- a small bunch of basil
- 200 g mozzarella cheese
- 150 g parmesan cheese
- 2 big cloves of garlic
- 150 g onion
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
How to make eggplant Parmigiana.
Cut off the stem from the washed and dried eggplant and cut it lengthwise into 0.5 cm thick slices. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, arrange one on top of the other in a dish and set them aside for 30 minutes. Afterwards, squeeze each slice and dry them thoroughly with a paper towel. Next, sprinkle with flour on both sides and fry in olive oil until lightly browned. Fry the eggplant slices on both sides for a total of 3 minutes over a medium heat.
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot, add the diced onion and fry for 5 minutes over a medium heat. After that, add the mashed garlic and continue frying for a few seconds. Then pour the tomato passata, add dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and then simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread a small amount of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish in which the casserole is made, place fried eggplant slices on it one next to another, spread a little sauce on them, sprinkle with mozzarella cut into large slices, grated parmesan and a few basil leaves. Repeat the same steps until all the ingredients are used. Spread the tomato sauce over the top of the casserole and sprinkle it with mozzarella and parmesan – you can use chopped parmesan here. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and place in the oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove the foil and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes, depending on how well-baked the cheese is. After removing the casserole from the oven, set it aside for 15 minutes and only then cut it.
Good to know when making eggplant Parmigiana.
I prepared the dish in a deep baking dish measuring 20 by 30 centimetres.
The tomato passata can be replaced with canned tomatoes.
In this dish, I sometimes use traditional green basil, but if I don’t have any, I use red basil. In addition to fresh basil, I also add a bit of dried basil to season the sauce.
Parmesan cheese can be used grated, sliced or diced. I often sprinkle the top of the casserole with chopped parmesan cheese, and layer the layers with grated cheese.
Do you like dishes with eggplant? If so, try our recipe Baked eggplant with lentils and tomatoes.