The Neapolitan style eggplant parmigiana (Parmigiana ‘e mulignane), a delicious dish of the Neapolitan gastronomic tradition, capable of conquering at the first taste even the most refined palates.
Among layers of eggplants (strictly fried), sauce prepared with tomatoes in season, fresh basil and stringy cheeses hides one of the most loved dishes of the Italian cuisine.
It is a dish disputed between Naples, Sicily and the city of Parma.
In the book “Cuoco galante” (gallant cook) by Vincenzo Corrado, famous cook of Neapolitan nobles between the 1700’s and 1800’s, he attributes its paternity to Neapolitans.
The fundamental ingredient of this recipe is eggplant, arrived in Europe from the East during the late Middle Ages with Arab merchants.
It was only in the eighteenth century that it began to become really common on dining tables, initially of the common people and then of the nobility.
Yield: Makes 4 ServingsINGREDIENTS:
- 2 1/2 lb eggplants
- 2 oz (60 ml.) olive oil
- 1 small chopped onion
- 2 cans peeled plum tomatoes or tomato puree
- 8 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese (grated or shaved)
- 8 oz grated mozzarella cheese or fior di latte (we have used both the grated and cubed mozzarella)
- fresh basil leaves as needed
- salt and pepper to taste as needed
- peanut oil for frying as needed
STEP BY STEP RECIPERemove the stem from the washed eggplants. Slice into thin long slices.Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt. Set aside for an hour.Prepare the sauce, cook the chopped onion in olive oil until soft.Add the can of plum tomatoes and torn basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.Remove from the heat and blend into a puree. Set aside until needed.Rinse and pat dry the eggplants, fry in medium hot oil. Make sure to fry both sides.Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking dish.Add a layer of the fried eggplants.Follow by a layer of the mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses.Repeat layering the tomato sauce, fried eggplants, mozzarella and parmigiano until all the eggplants have been layered.Finish off the top most layer with the remaining parmigiano and fresh basil leaves.Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the top has a light golden brown crust.Tip: Assemble in advance and store in the fridge. Bake when needed.Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
ITALIAN DELICIOUS EGGPLANT PARMESAN (PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE)