Parmigiana di melanzane. From Puglia. This is a really common dish here. It takes a bit of time to prepare, so it tends to be a celebration dish. It’s worth the effort though. Lots of people, even Jamie Oliver, assume it’s a northern dish because of it’s name. It is in fact named after the cheese not the city and is a southern dish.He also says to grill the aubergines rather than fry them. I’ve tried it this way and although the dish is undoubtedly less calorific, I think the taste suffers considerably. The dish is claimed by Puglia, Campania and Sicily and possibly other regions as their own. I’ve seen similar recipes from the states called “eggplant lasagne” even though it contains no béchamel sauce or … erm … lasagne. Even though it’s a vegetarian dish it’s quite heavy so I wouldn’t recommend eating it too often. Serves at least 6 as a main course, many more as part of an antipasto.
- 1.5 kg aubergines
- 700 g tomato pulp or passata
- 3 eggs
- 100 g grated parmesan
- 400 g mozzarella cut into small cubes
- Basil, about 10 leaves torn into pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, whole
- Olive oil
- Wash and dry the aubergines. Slice into 5 mm rounds. Dust with flour. Dip in the eggs and fry for a minutes in olive oil. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Fry the clove of garlic in 4 table spoons of olive oil until it is brown. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the garlic.
- Cover the bottom of an oven proof dish with tomato sauce. Add a layer aubergines. Add a layer of mozzarella and then parmesan. Repeat until all the aubergine is used up. Finish with a layer of aubergines covered with tomato sauce and parmesan.
- Bake for 1 hour at 200°c. If the top starts to get too brown, cover it with aluminium foil.