September 29, 2023

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Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

4 min read

This dish goes by a couple of completely different names outdoors of Italy: eggplant parm, eggplant parmesan, eggplant parmigiana… In Italy, it’s recognized by just one: Parmigiana di Melanzane. It’s an extremely scrumptious baked dish, with layers of fried eggplant slices, cheese, tomato sauce, and basil.

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Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

The place is Parmigiana di Melanzane From?

A controversial topic in Italy!

One concept is that it comes from the town of Parma. Is smart, contemplating the title, proper? Not so quick, as a result of the time period “parmigiana” has been linked to varied Sicilian phrases equivalent to “damigiana” (a kind of wicker casserole dish), “palmigiana” (a type of louver shutter harking back to the eggplant layers in look), and “parmiciana” (which suggests “Persian”).

In any case, the earliest written recipes come from Naples, the place the dish as we all know it immediately definitely developed. It’s a basic in Napoli, the place they generally even exchange the tomato sauce with their tremendous wealthy ragù alla Napoletana!

How you can Deal with the Eggplants

Whereas the eggplants should be fried, they don’t should be battered (opposite to in style conception). Don’t dip them in egg, don’t dip them in bread crumbs, don’t dip them in flour. The great thing about fried eggplants is the interaction between the oil and vegetable—it’s a magical course of that shouldn’t be interrupted!

One in style approach is salting eggplants previous to cooking with them, a measure which helps suck out extra moisture and might even assist to sweeten the vegetable. It is a trick that Italians hardly ever use because it’s fully pointless with high-quality, in-season produce. If you happen to stay in North America like us, you in all probability solely have entry to eggplants that are bred to be as large and waterlogged as attainable. Therefore, this trick is kind of helpful at occasions.

If you happen to really feel this step is important, frivolously salt the eggplant slices and allow them to drain in a colander for an hour or two previous to frying.

How you can Make the Good Eggplant Parmigiana

One of many largest frustrations with making a very good parmigiana is making an attempt to maintain the dish from changing into too moist, a very frequent drawback in North America the place eggplants are fairly watery (see above). To treatment this, attempt cooking down the tomato sauce in order that it’s thicker, and drain the chopped mozzarella in a single day to shed as a lot liquid as attainable. It will end in the very best consequence and a scrumptious parmigiana!

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Parmigiana di Melanzane | Genuine Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe

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PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE RECIPE

Serving Measurement: 4-6

Cook dinner Time: 2-3 hours

For this recipe, you will have:

Thinly slice the eggplants into cross-section discs. Meanwhile, fill a deep frying pan with 1 inch of oil and bring up to medium/high heat. Like every Italian nonna, we never use a thermometer when frying. Instead, we just drop a small piece of eggplant in the oil when it’s hot. If it starts to bubble and fry right away, the oil is hot enough to fry! No need to overthink it.

Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, drop the eggplant slices in and fry until they are lightly golden and wrinkled. Remove the eggplants with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain, and sprinkle them with salt.

Preheat an oven to 370 degrees F (185 C).

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Cover this with a single layer of slightly overlapping eggplant slices. Over the eggplant, spread some chopped mozzarella, some torn pieces of basil, and a generous grating of Parmigiano cheese. Spread another thin layer of sauce and repeat all the above steps until you have layered all the eggplant. Finish by covering the top in an even spread of tomato sauce and plenty of grated cheese.

Cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook the parmigiana a further 30-45 minutes, or until the top is beginning to crisp.

Let the dish cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Optionally, serve it cold instead of warm.

Buon appetito!

Want more eggplant recipes? Check out a whole video we made all about our favorites:

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