Eggplant Parmigiana: Parmigiana di melanzane

Eggplant Parmigiana: Parmigiana di melanzane

This is the best. Better than lasagna, I think. Eggplant Parmigiana. And it’s easy to make.

Probably a southern Italian dish, the layers of fried eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce meld into a rich, creamy texture of deliciousness. For some, it is a pure comfort food, plain and simple.

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Comfort food (Photo: WREats).

2 medium sized eggplants
flour
eggs
bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese
mozzarella
more Parmesan cheese
basil
other spices as you like
3 cups of tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 425-degrees.

Remove the skin of an eggplant and slice it across its length into “medallions” of about 1/4-inch thickness. Batter the eggplant in flour, beaten egg and seasoned bread crumbs (Sicilians love bread crumbs). Fry the disks in veg oil in a large pan.

Spoon out some tomato sauce into the bottom of a casserole. Layer the eggplant in the pan with overlapping edges. Plunk down some torn basil leaves. Add some more sauce and thin slices of mozzarella. Grate some Parm across the layers of eggplant and start another layer of fried eggplant. Add more layers of sauce and cheese. Top with tomato sauce a bit of mozzarella and some more Parmesan.

Pretty easy to make (Photo: WREats).

Pretty easy to make (Photo: WREats).

Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes. Enjoy.

The myth around the dish is the name. Is it “Parmigiana” — in the mode of Parma? Or is it palmigiana, which is Sicilian for “shutters” — because you layer the eggplant — a hugely popular vegetable in Sicily — in overlaps which make it look like the louvers of a window shutter.

There are other myths — and all are likely possible. It’s what gives that extra layer of fun to food.

 

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