Aubergine parmigiana is a delicious Italian dish, which according to some comes from northern Italy. This statement is a little doubtful as aubergines, tomatoes and mozzarella, which are main ingredients in the meal, come from the southern parts of the country. Parmesan, on the other hand, is a cheese from the north and that is probably what makes cooks say that the dish is from northern Italy. Whatever the truth about is origin is, the meal is very delicious and that is what matters.
Needed products for 4-6 portions
- 1.5 kg aubergines
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 800 g tinned tomatoes, or 1 kg fresh ones
- 150 ml red wine
- 200 g mozzarella
- 125 g Parmesan
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- Fine salt
- Pinch of sugar
- Oil to fry
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- Handful of basil leaves
Cut the aubergines lengthways into about half a centimetre slices. Sprinkle them with salt on both sides and put them in a colander. Let them stay and drain for thirty minutes.
While waiting for the aubergines, you can prepare the sauce. Put a sauce pan on the stove and heat the olive oil in it. Fry the garlic for a minute and add the wine and tinned tomatoes. Bring them to a boil and mash the tomatoes. Stir well, turn down the heat a little bit, add a pinch of sugar and the dried oregano, and simmer for 45 minutes. Mind that you have to stir the sauce often. When it is ready, puree it to make it smooth.
Lets prepare the aubergines. This recipe has a lot of variations – some cooks grill the aubergines before mixing them with the other ingredients, others fry them, some boil them, and there is a fourth kind of cooks who combine the latter and second method. I’m going to show you their recipe. Put a pot with water and a frying pan with a bottom well-coated with oil on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and put half of the aubergines in it to blanch them for two minutes. Fry the rest on both sides until brown. Drain the vegetables on paper towel. Mind that you have to wash and blot the aubergines well before you start blanching and frying them.
Take a casserole and grease it a little bit. Spread a thing layer of the sauce you’ve prepared, and arrange a layer of aubergines over it. Put thin slices of mozzarella, followed by Parmesan and basil. Put another layer of aubergines, and cover them with sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and seasoning again. Repeat the procedure until you are out of aubergines, and finish the dish with a layer of sauce on top. Mix the bread crumbs with a little Parmesan and olive oil and sprinkle on top of the meal. Roast for thirty minutes into a priorly preheated to 180 degrees Celsius oven, or until the top layer becomes brown. Leave the dish to cool down and serve with torn basil leaves on top. Consume with a glass of red wine.