Secondo piatto: Parmigiana di melanzana – Eggplant parmesan

This is the most exquisite eggplant parmesan I have ever had in my life. It was also the first eggplant parmesan la Mamma has ever like in her entire life. It is done in the Sicilian way with the eggplant sliced very thin and flash fried without any breading what-so-ever. It’s then just combined with the freshest basil, mozzarella, and parmesan and completed with your own, homemade, delicious tomato sauce. Easy, light, and incredible.

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Ingredients (for 4)

5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

4 large eggplant sliced into 1cm slices (a.k.a. thin)

2 cups sun flower oil (for frying)

1/2 lb. Italian fresh tomatoes (plum tomatoes – Chef Andrea recommends San Marzanos as they are the closest to the Roman tomatoes we can get in the US)

1 clove garlic (skin on)

1 tbsp fresh basil

1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  • Put your sliced eggplant in a colander sprinkled with sea salt and let drain for one hour (this is only necessary for large eggplants that have lots of seeds).
  • In a large frying pan over low heat, heat up the olive oil and throw in the garlic clove with the skin on and smash it in the pan, sauteing it until brown. Remove the garlic from the pan.

  • Boil the tomatoes until the skins start to shrivel a bit. Remove and cool them and remove the skin.

  • Dice them finely and throw them in the frying pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, then mash the tomatoes a bit and add salt and freshly torn basil.

  • Heat the sunflower oil in a deep frying pan until very hot (sunflower oil’s burning temperature is MUCH higher than olive oil, and that’s why it is better for deep frying). Shakes the salt off of the eggplant and fry small batches until golden brown on each side (5 to 7 minutes per batch).

  • Drain on a baking sheet covered in paper towel and season with salt (if needed).

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a medium baking dish (or aluminum foil dishes which make for efficient cooking and easy clean up).
  • First add a layer of eggplant.
  • Top it with tomato sauce.
  • Add the sliced mozzarella.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan.
  • Add a leaf of basil.
  • Repeat layers until out of product.
  • Bake until hot and bubbly (about 10 minutes).
  • Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and a leaf of fresh basil.

Chef Andrea recommends a Regius with this dish – an organic wine produced with pure Sauvignon grapes aged in aluminum from the Giangirolami winery in Borgo Montello in the Latina province (Lazio).

2 Responses to “Secondo piatto: Parmigiana di melanzana – Eggplant parmesan”
  1. Becca says:

    oh yes, i’ll have some of that, please! 🙂 i’m going to try to make this dish (sans fromaggio – or maybe i’ll try a little daiya and see how that goes – though, really, fresh basil and good olive oil can hold a dish on it’s own, don’t ya think?) thanks, claire! 🙂

  2. blubird607 says:

    Prego! Honestly you can’t taste the mozzarella too much so I’m sure it would be fine mostly plain..So tasty!

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