Welcome to Gourmet Project, the Roman home of the Italian Colors newsletter and Simposio: an Italian food, travel, and culture magazine

The authentic eggplant parmesan recipe from Italy. Make the eggplant parmigiana on a day you want to pamper yourself with real Italian comfort food.

authentic eggplant parmesan in a casserole
authentic Italian eggplant parmigiana in a white casserole

There are a million variants of the authentic eggplant parmesan recipe because every mom and nonna have their own family recipe, led by the region they live in and the produce they have on hand.

Making the Italian eggplant parmigiana can look like a big challenge. But don’t worry, as long as you are using fresh and seasonal ingredients, real passata, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, chances are, you’ll get a greedy, spectacular, delicious dish.

This is my family fried eggplant parmesan recipe. It’s the simple, basic one. The eggplants are fried in olive oil, and we add just mozzarella, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese. 

In the traditional Italian eggplant parmesan recipe, eggplants are fried, adding a crisp texture to the dish: they contrast the sweetness and meltiness of the cheeses and the sauciness of the tomato sauce. When baked together, something magical happens!

Depending on regions and family traditions, you may find several variations:

  • some dip the eggplants in egg and flour before frying them;
  • some add prosciutto cotto or mortadella;
  • some use provola instead of mozzarella;
  • some peel the eggplants – you lose the bitter taste, which, to me, is part of the complex and delicious flavor;
  • some grill the eggplant slices instead of frying them (6-10 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are) – a healthier option.
eggplant parmesan and a fork with the melting cheese
Italian eggplant parmigiana from above to show the crust

authentic eggplant parmesan recipe

Course vegetarian
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Author Claudia Rinaldi | Gourmet Project

Ingredients

for the frying

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2-3 medium eggplants
  • salt

for the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 17.6 oz tomato passata 500 gr
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 5-6 basil leaves

plus

  • 2 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese) 25 gr
  • ½ mozzarella fior di latte

Instructions

how to make melanzane alla parmigiana

  1. Slice the eggplants (1 cm/0.5 inch tall). Sprinkle them with salt and place them in a coriander for about 15 minutes.
  2. Slice the mozzarella and set it to loose extra liquids in another coriander.
  3. Grate the Parmesan cheese.

frying

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the eggplant slices, a couple of minutes on both sides, (or until golden brown).

grilling option

  1. Grill the eggplant slices on a hot grilling pan, brushed with a teaspoon of olive oil.

  2. Grill 6-8 minutes per side until well done.

sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium/large skillet. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and brown them in the olive oil.
  2. Remove garlic and add passata. Cook over medium/low heat 20 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and mix.
  3. Turn the heat off and add basil leaves. Mix and let rest.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).

assembling

  1. Time to assemble: you can opt for a medium-size baking sheet/casserole, or cute single serving oven pots.
  2. Anyway, what you have to do to assemble the dish, is the following:
  3. Spread the bottom of the casserole with a thin layer of the tomato sauce and add a layer of eggplant slices.
  4. Cover it with another layer of sauce, and one of parmesan cheese.
  5. Add another layer of eggplants (you might want to place some vertically and some horizontally, or just as good as it takes to fill the surface ).
  6. Cover it with tomato sauce, add a layer of mozzarella and one of parmesan.
  7. Finally, add the last layer of eggplants, cover it with sauce and finally, sprinkle it with parmesan.
  8. Summarizing: sauce + eggplant + sauce + parmesan + eggplant + sauce + mozzarella + parmesan +eggplants + sauce + parmesan.

  9. Bake the single or multiple casseroles 40 minutes (you should get a light crust on top).

an Italian travel, recipe, and culture magazine

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and get a

FREE SAMPLE

of the mag!

or

Enjoy your melanzane alla parmigiana recipe!

Claudia

Holler Box