Aubergine Parmigiana: A traditional Sicilian dish that you can make yourself at home as I’ll show you. But there is a faster alternative: a specific brand ready-made version, so good that brought me back to my years back home in Catania when it was my mum and dad cooking for me. Carry on reading to find out of which one I’m talking about!
In Catania we make everything with aubergines: pasta alla Norma (pasta in tomato sauce, fried aubergines and grated salted ricotta), arancini (fried rice balls), aubergine cotoletta (breaded and fried aubergines)… it can be added to pasta bake, as well, for the authentic taste of the Inspector Montalbano’s pasta ‘ncasciata!
You can make it at home too and I’ll show you how. Even if Lee is the chef, I do most of the cooking at home.
3 oval aubergines
1 lt passata (thin tomato sauce, with no herbs inside)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
3 spoons Olive oil (extra virgin if you want the real Mediterranean feel)
Oil for frying
100 g parmigiano
250 g mozzarella cheese (the hardish type for pizzas, must not give out too much water)
Andiamo in cucina!
Let’s go to the kitchen!
*get the aubergines ready: wash them, take off the top bit and cut them in thin long slices of more or less 0.5 cm.
Put a bit of coarse salt on top of each aubergine and put them in layers inside a bowl. Cover the aubergines with a plate and put a weight on top of the plate so that the aubergines will be squashed. All of this so that the bitter water inside the aubergines will come out. Leave the aubergines like this for about 1hour.
*in the meantime, prepare the sauce: In a pan, brown slightly the garlic in the olive oil and add the tomato sauce. Add a bit of salt. Cook for 30min. At the end, when it’s still hot, add some basil leaves and stir.
*get now your aubergines, rinse them and squeeze them. Pat them dry with kitchen roll.
In a frying pan, add a couple of cm of frying oil and fry each slice for about 3 min. Put them again on kitchen roll to absorb the excess of oil.
Now you have all you need to create your parmigiana
Get a baking dish and spread some tomato sauce at the bottom.
Add a layer of fried aubergines to cover the base of the dish, all in the same direction, left to right (horizontally).
Sprinkle parmigiano and mozzarella cheese.
Spread more tomato sauce.
Now form another aubergines layer, but this time put the aubergines vertically.
Sprinkle cheeses, spread tomato sauce.
Carry on till you have aubergines.
Finish with a nice layer of sauce and chesses sprinkled on top.
Now put everything in the oven at 180/200 degrees for 40/30 min or till the cheese il melted and nicely golden on top.
Take it out and eat it!
If you remember, I said at the beginning that I found a fast alternative to make all of this. I still make my own parmigiana, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else to cook for you.
Do you recognise the brand?
Yes, it’s Gino D’acampo’s aubergine parmigiana! When I tasted it the first time, it threw me back to my years in Sicily, when I was still living at home and my mamma and papa’ used to cook for me. Believe me when I say that this is an original Mediterranean taste experience!
Buonissima e bellissima: la parmigiana di melanzane!
Tasty and beautiful: the aubergine parmigiana!
Follow me for more recipes… Buon appetito!