Aubergine Parmigiana – A Baked Treat
After a long day at work, finding a hot dish of baked gooey goodness with tonnes of flavor to dig into is definitely comforting. Now I’ll be honest here – for a long time lasagna with its layers of pasta, creamy béchamel sauce and beef ragu filling was my ultimate go-to-dish when I felt like something hearty. But after having been to Rome last year, things have changed. For it was on my visit to Trastevere where I sat down with a good friend of mine at a little restaurant overlooking Piazza di Santa Maria that I got to savor the taste of sumptuous aubergine parmigiana for the first time. And as I cut into the thin layer of its crispy, cheesy crust to dig into its layers of creamy béchamel, sweet tomato sauce and thinly-sliced aubergines I couldn’t help but think that there was something magically delicious about this rustic Italian dish as I tasted it for the first time.
So, a few weeks after I arrived back home from my holiday in Rome, I felt adamant to recreate the vegetarian dish. And after a few tries, I finally came up with the perfect recipe I liked for the aubergine parmigiana (known as Melanzane parmigiana in Italy). Behold, feast your eyes on the result below!
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About making the Melanzane Parmigiana
Basically the bulk of the work involves chopping and frying the aubergines which can be a tad time consuming (especially if you’re making a huge dish). Also I like to make my own tomato sauce and béchamel sauce, so this also takes some time to prepare. However, the extra time spent lovingly preparing this dish from scratch is certainly worth it.
Once the aubergines have been lightly fried and the sauces have been made, the layering part of creating this dish is perhaps the most fun part in my opinion. For its during this process that the dish truly comes together.
If you’ve never tried to make this dish before, I suggest you do. It’s not only a great alternative to lasagna, but it’s also much healthier. Have a look at my aubergine parmigiana recipe below and get well on your way to making this fantastic Italian dish!
Our Aubergine Parmigiana Recipe
- 2-3 medium-sized aubergines
- 2 tubs of mozzarella di bufala
- bechamel sauce
- tomato sauce
- Parmigiano/Parmesan cheese
- olive oil
How to make Aubergine Parmigiana :
- Remove the stalks of the aubergines and cut aubergines it into thin slices. Then generously salt the aubergines for 30 to 40 minutes to get rid of the bitterness and to keep from getting discolored.
- Wash the aubergines under running water to get rid off any excess salt.
- Lightly fry the slices of aubergines in a griddle pan.
- Slice up the mozzarella di bufala into thin slices.
- Take out a baking tray and drizzle some olive oil.
- Next start by layering the slices of aubergines.
- Place slices of mozzarella di bufala on the layers of aubergines.
- After pour some tomato sauce on the layers.
- Repeat the layering process until your baking tray is full of ingredients.
- Pour the bechamel sauce in the baking tray and make sure all of your ingredients are covered.
- Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil on the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
Tip: Whilst I always recommend using fresh tomato sauce, if you don’t have time to make tomato sauce, either substitute it with slices of tomato or use canned tomato sauce instead.