Mains

Parmigiana di Melanzane (Aubergine Parmigana)

Parmigiana di Melanzane is the ultimate comfort food recipe. Fried aubergines/eggplant baked in a dish with tomato sauce, basil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Parmigiana di Melanzane (aubergine parmigiana) is one of my absolute favourite authentic Italian recipes. The layers of fried aubergines, mozzarella cheese and parmesan baked together with a simple tomato sauce just tastes like heaven. There are a few stages of preparation to this dish but it’s all fairly effortless and nothing beats the smell of bubbling tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese baking in the oven, right?

Parmigiana di melanzane eggplant parmigiana recipe inside the rustic kitchen

I’ve been making this recipe for years now and I seriously never get bored of it. Whenever I need something comforting it’s at the top of my list along side Tuscan sausage ragu, speck and mushroom pappardelle and a good old fashioned lasagne.

When I posted my recipe for Italian marinated eggplant I was surprised by a number of people that commented saying they’ve never been a fan of eggplant/aubergine or that it’s something they rarely eat. I have always loved aubergine and have never found it bland or boring.

Aubergine is like a vegetable sponge that soaks up a lot of flavour and making into parmigiana di melanzane is the ultimate way to use it (in my opinion).

Parmigiana di melanzane eggplant parmigiana recipe inside the rustic kitchen

How to make Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant parmigiana)

The first step is to salt the aubergines/eggplant. Thinly slice the aubergines and place them in a colander, sprinkle them lightly with salt and set them aside for 1 hour. This drains our any excess water and helps with frying.

Meanwhile, make the simple tomato sauce. Finely chop 1 onion and sauté in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the tomato passata (pureed tomatoes) and a small bunch of basil torn with your hands. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir then let it simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Next, rinse the aubergines under cold water to remove the salt and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper. Lightly dust them in flour, shaking off any excess then fry them in sunflower oil for a few seconds each side, drain.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4. Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spread it around, this will stop the aubergines from sticking. Next add one layer of aubergines to the dish followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, cubes of mozzarella, a sprinkling of pepper and a little more tomato sauce. Continue with the next layer until you have one top layer left.

For the top layer, spoon over the remaining tomato sauce and top with parmesan and mozzarella. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until nice and golden and bubbling on top.

Parmigiana di melanzane eggplant parmigiana recipe inside the rustic kitchen

Change it up….

This recipe will give you an authentic taste of parmigiana di melanzane but you can make it a little lighter by grilling the aubergines instead of dusting them in flour and frying them. It still tastes delicious and is a great way to make the dish a little healthier.

Another alternative to mozzarella cheese is to use smoked scamorza cheese or smoked mozzarella…omg it’s incredible and gives the whole dish a wonderful smokey flavour.

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTERESTto see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

5 from 10 votes
Parmigiana di Melanzane - eggplant parmigiana. An authentic Italian recipe made with fried eggplant/aubergines, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. Utterly delicious and comforting and so simple to make, a real family favourite. Authentic Italian recipes and traditional Italian recipes at Inside The Rustic Kitchen.
Print
Parmigiana di Melanazane
Prep Time
1 hrs
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 45 mins
 

Parmigiana di Melanzane is the ultimate comfort food recipe. Fried aubergines/eggplant baked in a dish with tomato sauce, basil, parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 359 kcal
Author: Emily Kemp
Ingredients
  • 2 large aubergines/eggplant around (700g/ 1.5 lbs)
  • 1.5 lbs (700g) passata/pureed tomatoes chunky/rustica*
  • 1 white onion
  • Small bunch of basil
  • 8.8 oz (250g) mozzarella cheese , cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup (70g) parmesan cheese , freshly grated
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • flour for dusting
  • sunflower oil for frying (around 1/2 litre)
  • salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice the aubergines removing the top and bottoms and place them in a colander. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and set them aside for 1 hour. This drains out any excess water and helps with frying.

  2. Meanwhile, make the simple tomato sauce. Finely chop 1 onion and sauté in a pan with the olive oil until translucent and soft but not browned. Add the tomato passata (pureed tomatoes) and a small bunch of basil torn with your hands. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir then let it simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Rinse the aubergines under cold water to remove the salt and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper. Lightly dust them with flour, shaking off any excess then fry them in sunflower oil for a few seconds each side, drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4. Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spread it around, this will stop the aubergines from sticking. Next add one layer of aubergines to the dish followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, cubes of mozzarella, a sprinkling of pepper and couple spoons of tomato sauce (save 1/3 of the sauce for the final layer). Continue with the next layer until you have one top layer left.

  5. For the top layer, spoon over the remaining tomato sauce and top with parmesan and mozzarella. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes until nice and golden and bubbling on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

*Chunky passata or passata rustica is pureed tomatoes with a coarser pulp texture if you don't have this then regular pureed tomatoes will do.

Please note this recipe was tested and developed using metric measurements all imperial measurements are approximate

 

Newsletter

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Karl @ Healthy Kreation
    September 3, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I’ve never tried parmigana before, but this dish looks absolutely delicious. Definitely going to have a go at this in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      September 3, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Ahh you so need to try it, it’s one of my all time favourites and it’s perfect for the cooler weather. Thank you Karl!

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    September 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Well, it certainly does look delicious and almost too pretty to eat. Being Italian, nothing is too pretty to eat when it’s a great Italian dish! 😋 The weather is getting chilly here – perfect for oven dishes and minestre. Your photos are truly lovely! Buona fine settimana. Un abbraccio.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      September 3, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Grazie mille Marisa! Haha I know what you mean, it sounds like the perfect weather for it. Buona Domenica!

  • Reply
    Nadja | Nashi Food
    September 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    This dish looks so tasty! I will add the ingredients to my shopping list and see if I can give it a try! I love eggplants. By the way, I love your photos!

  • Reply
    Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
    September 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I am a fan of aubergine, but the rest of my family are not. This recipe looks so divine, though, that I’m going to try it on them. Because you’re right: what could be better than that gorgeous tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese? Great idea for lightening up the dish—but I’m definitely going the decadent route and frying!

  • Reply
    Patty @pattysaveurs.com
    August 31, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I love Parmigiana, such a wonderful dish, your recipe looks fantastic, will try it!

  • Reply
    Joanne |No Plate Like Home
    August 30, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Your pix look amazing. Your recipe seems a bit easier than mine. Maybe I’ll try yours. Looking forward to seeing more of your recipes! Glad to have found your blog to follow.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    August 30, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Gorgeous photos as always…this looks like heaven!

  • Reply
    Edyta at Innocent Delight
    August 30, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love eggplant parmegiana. I just made one yesterday :). I’m trying to avoid flour whenever possible so I roasted my eggplant first. I love your recipe using passata!

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      August 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks Edyta, that’s a great way to make the dish lighter I do that myself occasionally it’s still so delicious!

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    August 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    This is one of my favorite Italian meals! I love baked eggplant parm! This recipe looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Brandi Crawford
    August 30, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This looks like the best eggplant parm that I’ve seen! Gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Sandi
    August 30, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    This is making me drool, it looks seriously good for a busy school night.

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      August 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      It’s so good for that and it can also be prepared in advance so you can quickly pop it in the oven at dinner time. Thanks Sandi!

    Leave a Reply

    2K Shares
    Pin2K
    Share14
    Yum26
    Flip
    Tweet
    Stumble1