Melanzana alla Parmigiana -- Eggplant Parmesan




3 to 4 eggplants, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
Olive oil
1 qt. classic tomato sauce (meatless)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated


Place the sliced eggplant in a colander and drain for about 2-3 hours. Heat the olive oil and fry the sliced eggplant, a few slices at a time, until browned on both sides. Removed from the pan and drain on absorbent paper toweling.

When all the eggplant is dried, spread a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce in a large shallow casserole. On top of the sauce place a layer of the fried eggplant, spoon more sauce over the eggplant, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Continue layering eggplant, sauce and parmesan cheese until all the eggplant is used. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Author's Comments

This has been, still is and will always be one of my most favorite dishes. My mother was well aware of my fondness for the dish and for many years, even though I was in the Air Force, she would make sure there was plenty in the refrigerator or freezer when I came back home on leave or vacation. This was the recipe that she learned from her mother, who in turn learned it from hers. It is in keeping with the Italian penchant to keep the vegetable dishes simple yet impressive in taste and looks. Other recipes call for breading the eggplant, and /or adding mozzarella cheese. These are typically regional variances. Personally I think that the breading and the mozzarella make the dish too heavy.

From my cookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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