Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: less than 1 hour
First of all the name: Parmigiana literally means “from Parma.”
Originally, parmigiana was made with zucchini, or even carrots or turnips. The first mention of eggplant dates back to 1837, to Cavalcanti.
While residents of Parma use their local cheese, southern Italians prefer pecorino, provolone, caciocavallo or mozzarella.
- Cut the eggplant into slices and fry in oil.
- Place on paper towels for a few hours to get rid of excess oil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet; add the diced onion, cover and sweat over low heat until translucent.
- Stir in the tomatoes; add a sprig of basil, cover and cook for approx. 10 min. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
- Assemble the parmigiana: spread two tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with a single layer of eggplant slices.
- Top with mozzarella, 2-3 basil leaves, 1 tablespoon of Parmesan and 2-3 tablespoons of sauce.
- Continue using all ingredients and finish with a layer of eggplant, sauce and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly.
- Let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.
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