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Thursday 5 September 2013

SBBC Day 5: A Recipe To Love: Melanzane Parmigiana

SBBC day 5 calls for a recipe you love, would like to learn or one that is a family tradition.This one is kind of all three. When my sister was in college she spent her Erasmus year in Italy and came back with all sorts of lovely recipes, including Melanzane Parmigiana, which we all grew to love but until recently, I had never actually attempted to make myself. I would describe it as a vegetarian, pasta free lasagne. This is a hearty and warming dish, so is perfect for Autumn/Winter, but is equally lovely in warmer weather, served with a Summery salad and crispy bread. I actually wanted to try making Bruschetta with this too, so the recipe for that is at the end.

2-3 Aubergines
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
800g Tinned Tomatoes
150ml Red wine
Pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Oil, to fry
200g Mozzarella, thinly sliced
125g Parmesan, finely grated
Basil Leaves

1) Slice Aubergines (most recipes suggest lengthways, but I'm not sure it matters really), lay them out and sprinkle generously with salt. This sounds odd, but aubergines can be bitter and salting them helps improve the flavour and the absorption of oil later on. Leave them to salt for 30 mins, then rinse the salt off under cold water.
2) I then drizzle olive oil over the aubergines and pop them in the oven on a baking tray at about 180 degrees until they're soft and have a golden colour. Others suggest chargrilling or frying them but I actually really like the way the baked slices taste- plus they tend to be less oily than they would be fried and less dry than they would be chargrilled.
3) While your aubergines are baking, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic until softened, then throw in your tinned tomatoes and the wine. Bring to the boil, stir well, then turn down the heat slightly and add your oregano, the pinch of sugar and some salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 30-45 minutes.
4) Now, layer up your baking dish with tomato sauce, then aubergine, then mozzarella, a light sprinkling of parmesan and then back to the tomato sauce again. Keep going as you would with a lasagne, finishing with a generous amount of parmesan on top.
5) Pop it in the oven at 180 degrees C until bubbling and browned, then serve with some basil on top.
6) I served mine with bruschetta- toasted slices of bread, topped with fresh pesto, then chopped fresh tomatoes, red onion and basil, marinated in extra virgin olive oil (when I say marinated, I mean the ingredients are tossed together with the oil, then covered and left in the fridge for a good 45 minutes to allow the flavours to mix and until you're ready to make your toast).



  1. I really want to try this, please send some my way. I love homemade food, and this looks so delicious x

  2. That looks amazing Chloe, I'm definitely going to write that recipe down and give it a go!x

    1. You definitely should, it looks long winded but it's actually really easy! x

  3. Yum - that's a great idea about baking the aubergines, I'm always put off this dish by the amount of oil frying the aubergines needs!

    1. I know, that would turn me off too, it's actually surprisingly easy this way! x

  4. Anything with melted cheese is good in my books, but this looks AMAZING!

    1. There is a huge amount of melted cheese involved! I try and tell myself it's somewhat healthy what with the aubergine and all...

  5. That all looks & sounds amazing. Will definitely give it a try.

  6. Ohh this looks so perfect for this weather! A nice hot plate of this would heat you right up I'd say!

    1. Definitely! It's total comfort food and lovely heated up the next day too :)