Aubergine Parmigiana (Italian Parmigiana di Melanzane)

Aubergine Parmigiana is aa recipe shared and disputed as origins from north to south of Italy: Emilia Romagna, Campania (Parmigiana ‘e mulignane) and Sicily (Parmiciana or Patrociane) with some variations of ingredients and methods of composition, but all absolutely fabulous!

Related article: One day eating like an Italian, How to be a traditional foodie?

Have you ever wondered why it is called this way? The name “Parmigiana” would derive from the Sicilian “Parmiciana”, which in dialect indicates a stack of wooden slats of shutters: think about how the slices of aubergine are arranged in the pan and you will notice the similarities.

Few ingredients, a lot of flavour for a dish that is a symbol of Mediterranean cuisine: tomato, aubergines, basil and cheese.

  • Calories per serving 562
  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation: 40 min
  • Cooking: 100 min
  • Doses for: 8 people
  • Cost: Medium
  • Note + 1 hour resting time for salted aubergines


  • Black oval aubergines 1.5 kg
  • Tomato puree 1,4 l
  • Fiordilatte 500 g
  • Parmigiano Reggiano DOP 150 g
  • Golden onion ½
  • Extra virgin olive oil q.s.
  • Black pepper q.s.
  • Basil a few leaves
  • Salt q.s.
  • Peanut seed oil for frying aubergines q.b.
  • Coarse salt to purge the aubergines 35 g


First we take out the water and the bitterness from the aubergines

  1. Start by washing and drying the aubergines. Then, with a knife or potato peeler, remove the stem and skin and cut them lengthwise, to obtain slices 4-5 mm thick.
  2. Place the slices one by one in a sieve and sprinkle a little coarse salt between the layers, well-distributed.
  3. On top of the aubergines, place a plate with something heavy on top, which generates pressure on the aubergines. So that they can purge the water that is bitter and enemy of frying.
  4. Leave the aubergines for at least 1 hour. Then wash the layers in running water, one by one if necessary, to remove the salt. Then dry them with a clean cloth or paper.

While waiting for the aubergines, we prepare the other ingredients

  1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into small cubes.
  2. In a large saucepan pour a dash of extra virgin olive oil and add the chopped onion, stir often to prevent it from burning and leave to brown for a couple of minutes.
  3. Then add the tomato puree and little water, salt and let it cook on a low heat for 45 minutes. At the end of cooking do not forget to add the basil leaves chopping them by hand.

Now let’s fry the aubergines

  1. Heat plenty of seed oil.
  2. Soak a few slices at a time in the boiling oil at 170° and after 2-3 minutes of cooking, drain on absorbent paper; proceed in this way with all the others.

At this point you should have everything you need, then proceed to the preparation.

We gather all the ingredients and form the aubergine parmigiana

  1. Sprinkle a 20x30cm baking dish with a little sauce, then form the first layer by arranging the aubergine slices horizontally.
  2. Spread a 20x30cm baking tray with a little sauce, then form the first layer by arranging the aubergine slices horizontally.
  3. Add a little black pepper, the mozzarella, distributing it evenly, the parmesan cheese, and finally, pour a little more sauce.
  4. Repeat the same procedure, arranging the aubergines vertically; continue in this way to form the layers, inverting each time the direction of the aubergines.
  5. Between layers, remember to press gently with the palms of your hands to compact them.
  6. In the last layer, pour in the remaining tomato puree, the mozzarella cubes and the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the aubergine parmigiana

  1. Finally, bake the aubergine parmigiana in a hot oven at 200° for 40 minutes. Once ready, let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
aubergine parmigiana, my own version


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1 Comment

  1. Carlos

    Excelent recipe! Thanks again Isa!

    My tips after a couple of batches (if u’re not a purist like Isa and want to save energy):
    – No need to peel the eggplant
    – Instead of frying, 15 min in the oven (distribute even). This will make them just as soft.


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