• Ermanno Lelli

PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE

My family is famous in the area to produce an amazing PARMIGIANA, and my great-grandma "Luisa Gentile" even created a version with chocolate. I'm 1920

Parmigiana Di Melanzane is the queen of single courses, the solace for sore feelings.

The queen of single courses, the solace for sore feelings.


This is a delicious and healthy cuisine: Fried eggplant /baked aubergines served in a dish with basil, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.


Oregano it's forbidden!


Parmigiana di melanzane is one of the most popular, simple, and iconic vegetarian Italian recipes, a true summer feast that I have recently infatuated with! A dish that I greatly enjoy, on the grounds of its delicious flavor and simple preparation.

The Etymology 'Parmigiana'

"Parmigiana di melanzane (Eggplant Parmesan)" is a classic Italian dish that has garnered incredible widespread popularity. Parmigiana's name is derived from the Sicilian word for louver, palmigiana, which implies blinds with vertically piled wood slats. If you imagine how the eggplant slices are arranged in the dish, you would see the resemblance. This simple meal is an icon of Mediterranean cuisine because it contains just a few ingredients: tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and cheese — a blend that goes well with pasta as well.

It prompted several "Parmesan"— style dishes that do not exist in Italy, like veal Parmesan and chicken Parmesan. In Italy, however, it is occasionally cooked with zucchini instead of eggplant and is known as Parmigiana di zucchine.

How To Make Parmigiana di Melanzane?

Even though this recipe is simple to prepare, it requires several steps to follow. Give yourself at least 2 hours to prepare this meal. If you've got the time, cook it in the morning and use it for supper or, even better, make it a day or two in advance, so you eat it for supper the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Onion

  • 3-4 round large Eggplant

  • 8-10 Fresh basil leaves

  • Salt

  • 4 medium Tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin Olive oil

  • Crushed Black pepper to taste

  • Salt to taste

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed

  • ½ Cup Water or as required

  • 3-4 medium Eggs

  • Few finely chopped parsley

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 cup All-purpose flour or as required

  • 120g Parmesan cheese grated

  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese grated

  • Some fresh basil leaves

Directions

Prepare the Eggplant (Parmigiana)

Obviously, you start with aubergine. The large, purple kind is best for this recipe. You slice the eggplants quite thinly. Then is the time to 'purify' them of any excess moisture that may be astringent. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices and place them in a strainer set over a platter.

To cover the slices, place a small dish/bowl on top of the plate and put a heavy object like tomatoes or a can of beans on it. By applying pressure, the liquid in the eggplant will be extracted. Leave them for approximately an hour and then examine them.

It is imperative that you eliminate the small puddle of brownish water on the lower left of the colander. Transfer the colander slices to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry them.

Fry The Parmigiana

Dip each eggplant slice in all-purpose flour, then dip them in the batter of eggs, cheese, finely chopped parsley, along with a seasoning of salt and pepper. Fry the aubergine on medium flame till soft inside and golden brown outside.

The aubergine slices will be fried in bunches. As each bunch is ready, strain it and set them on a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb the extra oil. Keep repeating till you're finished.

Preparing The Tomato Sauce

Meanwhile, make a very simple tomato sauce by blending diced tomatoes (preferably fresh if available, or frozen tomatoes are also Okay), salt, chopped garlic, a few basil leaves, and olive oil. However, some people eliminate the olive oil due to the oiliness of the eggplant, also after draining.

Cook, occasionally stirring, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened and melted into a sauce. If using frozen tomatoes, add a splash of water before cooking to soften the tomatoes. You'll need a substantial amount of sauce, so make a large batch — you can also use any leftovers to season pasta.

Assemble The Dish

Now is the time to assemble your dish. Set a layer of fried eggplant slices in a bake-and-serve pan, followed by a dollop of tomato sauce, chopped basil, grated parmesan cheese, and some mozzarella shreds. Continue adding layers of eggplant and repeat until all of the stuff is finished. Use the tomato sauce and parmesan as a finishing touch. Do not top with mozzarella; it will cook quickly and may burn in the oven.

Baking

Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C for around 30 minutes and place the dish to cook. Cook until the plate is sizzling hot and the top browned. And do not be anxious when the sides appear slightly darker—this is very natural and, in some people's opinions, a prime part of the cooking. Allow the dish to cool for 15-10 minutes before eating. Indeed, it tastes best when prepared ahead of time and reheated (slightly) before serving. Additionally, you can enjoy it at room temperature. Try to avoid eating it too hot, as you will miss out on the pure, exquisite taste!

Cook's Notes

  • This eggplant Parmigiana dipped in an egg batter and pan-fried in vegetable oil is emblematic of Campania- southern Italy where Naples is located.

  • If you want a lighter version of this dish instead of frying, you may either grill or oven-roast the eggplants and brush them with olive oil.

  • You can store it in the fridge for 1-2 days, covered with fresh wrap. It can be frozen as partially prepared or fully cooked. When needed, you can defrost it and bake/reheat it as required.

Nutritional Facts

In spite of their delicious, rich, creamy flavor and texture, this cuisine is exceptionally low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Eggplants are a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese, and an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Copper, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Niacin.

Despite being a great source of antioxidants, nutrition, and fiber, eggplants may help prevent heart disease. A study demonstrated that the anti-arteriosclerosis and blood pressure-lowering properties of eggplant anthocyanins could be helpful for women with arterial stiffening and high blood pressure.



Enjoy your Parmigiana Di Melanzane!!

BUON APPETITO!

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