Parmigiana Aubergine/Melanzane Parmigiana Recipe (video)
Whenever I close my eyes and think of the countless times I visited Italy, the first thing that pops up is the colosseum; that is a lie of course. In fact, the first thing that jumps to mind is food and food then food then finally a big smile. Many have a wrong perception of the Italian cuisine. The common belief is that it consists of pasta, pizza, lasagne and caprese salad only. Those who have travelled to Italy would know that the Italian cuisine is one of the richest and most versatile regionally and Mediterranean wise.
Each region in Italy is famous and proud of its dishes. The food diversity from north to south is as vast as from region to region. The northern cuisine relies a lot on all types of meat, sausages, hams, stews, soups and dairy based dishes, whilst the southern cuisine is lively, fresh and colourful. The south relies heavily on fresh vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, aubergines and fennel which are lightly cooked in olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. Fresh fish and fruits of the sea recipes are a true example of heavenly and easy combined.
The Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity, where often nomore than five or six ingredients are used in a dish relying on the high quality of the ingredients and simplifying its preparation and cooking time.
Melanzane parmigiana is a true and classic example that simple is delectable and delicious when the ingredients are of quality. This dish originates from the Campania region in the south of Italy. It is a -layered dish of aubergine, simple basic tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Dinner is a joyful event when Parmigiana is at the table. We love to eat it with chili oil and wipe the plates clean with country bread or as they say in Italy “la scarpetta”.
Remember my rule! Simplicity, quality and no waste.
750 grams aubergine or 2 big aubergines
500 grams of the basic tomato sauce
150 grams grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil for frying
• Preheat the oven at 180 C on fan setting.
• Cut off the heads of the aubergine, peel and slice lengthwise 0.5 CM thick.
• In a heavy base fry pan add a few tablespoons of olive oil and shallow fry the aubergine on both sides until golden then drain on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
• Prepare 500 grams of thebasic tomato sauce recipe
• Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce across the base of a 12x25 cm casserole dish then make one layer of aubergine laying them side by side. Top with parmesan cheese and more tomato sauce then place another layer of aubergine and repeat the layering process until the aubergine is finished. Make sure you finish with a layer of tomato sauce topped with cheese.
• Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.
• Finish with torn basil leaves.
• For a lower calorie option brush the aubergine with olive oil and grill.
• You have the option to add mozzarella for an oozing cheesier version.
• It can be frozen in a freezer proof dish but thaw out completely before baking.
Per Serving : 278 Calories; 15g Fat (48.4% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fibre; 39mg Cholesterol; 1939mg Sodium.