Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes

Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

This is another classic that I love to prepare when I have guests. It is very easy to make and can be prepared in the morning to be eaten later in the evening or can even be prepared the previous day.It is so good that I usually eat a full dish of it with some slices of countryside bread (and a good glass of red wine of course!).I am going to present it in a very simple way and using only one herb (basil) to flavour the tomato sauce. Aubergines, for this kind of recipe, are normally cut in thin and long slices to make a lasagne-like layer, but I prefer to do it in another way, which I find more practical.
The end result is simply delicious!
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 650 kcal

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Ingredients
 

For the aubergines preparation:

  • 4 Large aubergines/eggplants
  • Some plain flour for coating the aubergines
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying (if you want to add some extra flavour to the aubergine, you can use a mild or light olive oil available in the supermarket)
  • 1 Pack of mozzarella (not balls because they are too watery)
  • Some Parmesan cheese shavings

Ingredients for the base sauce (Metric & Imperial measurements):

  • 700 grams (1 1/2 lb) Chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (usually two cans)
  • 25 grams (1 oz) Butter
  • 2 Medium size shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 grams (1/2 tsp) Sugar
  • 1 Very small Italian whole dry chilli
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Some dried basil for seasoning

Instructions

  • Cut the ends off the aubergines and then peel the aubergines longways in order to leave 3 black stripes and 3 white stripes. This is for eliminating part of the skin that some people would find hard to digest. At the same time, we need to leave some skin to prevent the slices from collapsing in the oven at a later stage.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Now, cut the aubergines in 4 cm thick slices.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Salt the slices both sides and leave them into the colander for 1-2 hours.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • This is a good practise because the salt helps to take out some of the moisture, otherwise the slices would absorb too much oil during the frying stage. Furthermore, the longer you leave the slices in the colander to drain, the better because you will reduce some of the bitter taste typical of the aubergines (check “preparing aubergines”, featured in the top tips section of the website). 
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • After leaving into the colander for 1-2 hours, rinse all the slices well.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Then, pat dry with kitchen paper gently pressing on to the slices.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Put some plain flour into a bowl.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Completely coat the slices with flour.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • The slices are now ready for frying.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Heat the oil and then start putting the slices in the frying pan.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Fry them for about 3 minutes for each side, not more. You will notice that after this time a fork will easily dig into the slices.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Put the slices into a bowl with some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes

Base sauce preparation:

  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add the chopped shallot and sweat over a low heat for about 3 minutes until it is soft.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes into the pan (my tomatoes looks a bit like “passata” because I usually mash the big pieces with a potato masher).
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Then stir gently for few seconds.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add the sugar and stir.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add a pinch of salt and stir.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add the small chilli. Chilli here is used instead of the ground pepper because this is the way I like it, but feel free to use pepper (just a sprinkle) if you like. Anyway, if you use chilli, use a very tiny one because we want to give the sauce just an imperceptible hint.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Add a sprinkle of dried basil and stir. I normally cook the sauce for about 20-30 minutes to reduce it a bit.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • When you think the sauce is ready, lay some of the sauce in the bottom of an oven dish; let's say about 1/2 cm thick layer (3/16").
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Now, you are ready to put the aubergine slices into it.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Lay the slices as shown in the photograph. Generally speaking, I try to put 3-4 slices per person.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Prepare some Parmesan cheese shavings, then cover each slice with them as shown in the photograph.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Cut the mozzarella in slices 1 cm thick and then cut a square of the size to cover a slice.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • This is what you have to achieve.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • With a large spoon, cover each slice with the remaining sauce.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Pre-heat the oven at 190ÂșC (375ÂșF) and then put the dish in for about 30 minutes or until you see the first signs of browning on the perimeter. When cooked, you can cool it down and cover with foil. Re-heated for 10 minutes in the oven, it will give you a lovely meal for later in the evening or you can put it in the fridge and re-heat it the following day.
    Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
  • Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) | Vegetable recipes
Enjoyed the recipe?Buy us a glass of wine!
Federico
Jeremy

Buon appetito! Thank you from Federico (recipe Maestro) and Jeremy (web Geek).

Nutrition

Calories: 650kcal
Keyword Vegetable
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Published
Categorised as Vegetable

By Federico

Federico Pezzaioli is an ex-badass Italian Paratrooper on a mission - to make creating delicious authentic Italian food really easy. He researches, writes and photographs each recipe with the same attention to detail he used to apply to packing his parachute.

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