Melanzane parmigiana

Melanzane parmigiana

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins

More effort

Serves 4 - 6
This classic bake with tomato, aubergine and vegetarian mozzarella and Parmesan-style cheese is ideal for entertaining

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal481
  • fat27g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre17g
  • protein24g
  • salt1.3g
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 thyme sprigs

    Thyme

    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 8 large sage leaves, finely chopped

    Sage

    sa-age

    Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…

  • 4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp golden caster or granulated sugar
  • 6 large aubergine, sliced lengthways as thinly as you can

    Aubergine

    oh-ber-geen

    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 100g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
  • 85g white breadcrumb
  • 50g pine nut
  • 2 x 125g balls vegetarian mozzarella cheese, torn into small chunks
  • handful basil leaves

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or wide saucepan), add the garlic, thyme and sage, and cook gently for a few mins. Tip in the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, and gently simmer for 20-25 mins until thickened a little.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle (or frying) pan. Brush the aubergine slices on both sides with olive oil, then griddle in batches. You want each slice softened and slightly charred, so don’t have the heat too high or the aubergine will char before softening. Remove to a plate as you go.

  3. In a large baking dish, spread a little of the tomato sauce over the base. Mix 25g of the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and pine nuts, and set aside. Top the sauce with a layer or two of aubergine slices, then season well. Spoon over a bit more sauce, then scatter over some mozzarella, Parmesan and basil leaves. Repeat, layering up – and finish with the last of the tomato sauce. Scatter over the cheesy breadcrumbs and chill for up to 24 hrs, or bake straight away.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake for 30-40 mins until the top is crisp and golden, and the tomato sauce bubbling. Rest for 10 mins, then scatter with basil leaves and serve with salad and focaccia (see 'goes well with').

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (21)

pboorm's picture
5

I used half aubergine and half courgette to get a range of textures!

urbankaos85's picture

There is no need for vinegar and sugar in the tomato sauce.
Cooking the tomatoes gently, for at least an hour, will caramelise the natural sugars in the tomatoes. This is the way we (=Italians) do it! Traditionally the tomato sauce will only have a very generous amount of basil. No sage or other herbs please! Basil makes the sauce taste fresh and smells delicious.
The pinenuts are not included inthe original recipe and are unnecessary. It is also unnecessary to put the aubergine slices in salt to soak up the bitterness- nowadays aubergines are naturally sweet.
With Italian food, simplicity works best!
M

harerip's picture

Made this with what was available in the house and garden this evening(most of it!) The cheese a west country salty hard cheese and the herbs fresh and cold, sliced oil roasted aubergine.(getting the aubergine soft and melting before the build seems important) OK not authentic rustic food but a very good tasty dish, better than what we ate on recent trips to Sienna and Rome

MichaeltheGreat's picture
3.75

Did this totally different - used sweet potato and zucchini - added a layer of lasagna sheets with chilli and an onion

madkat1981's picture

This isn't authentic melanzane alla parmigiana. Sage leaves? Sugar? Red wine vinegar? In fact many of these ingredients are not necessary. And as for chopped tomatoes, ugh!!! Where is the egg and flour? The hour that you have to press the aubergines to drain them? So glad my mama is Italian and I have a decent recipe. I came on here looking for new ideas but I will stick to what I know, lol

JacquiPan's picture

3 tablespoons of sugar! I put less than the stated amount and the dish was so unbelievably sweet that it was inedible. A complete waste of an hour and a half and of a lot of ingredients. Strongly suggest thinking very carefully about proceeding with this recipe!

vivkenyon's picture
5

Really love this recipe. Gets better each time I make it! ;-)

jmc123's picture
5

Really, really tasty. It is quite a lot of work to batch fry all the aubergine slices but it's worth it. I used more mozerralla than stated and added some tomato puree to the sauce. The addition of pine nuts added a lovely crunch to the cheesy topping. A winner in our house. You'll also forget it's vegetarian!!!

marticlar's picture
5

Simply divine!!! Amazingly yummy. Takes some time to make. Cooked aubergines under grill without oil to make it healthier. My fav recipe ever!!

msrh123's picture

This was a lovely filling meal with melted mozzarella and parmesan throughout. Although it did take me an AGE to thinly slice and fry/grill all the aubergines (and I only used 5 instead of the recommended 6!), and then when the dish was ready, I had to slice it with a knife into portions to get through the aubergine, has anyone got any tips for making them softer? Maybe I just wasn't patient enough!

Daisy@Cheaperseeker's picture

Great!Seems delicious!

hogs's picture
5

YUMMMM this is the best!!! did as per recipe except added cheddar and did half aubergine/half courgette... oh and added lots more garlic and herbs than said.. but this is truly delicious..

kazibeth's picture
5

This is a favourite in our house , specially when we have vegetarian visitors. Equally tasty if half aubergines and half courgettes, and/or additional crumbled blue cheese or goats cheese with the mozzarella.

blurpyblurp's picture
4

Whoops forgot to rate it

blurpyblurp's picture
4

Very tasty and even managed to get our 6 year old to eat it!
We used 3 med-large aubergines, 2 cans of tomatoes and *cough* the same amounts for everything else. It was quite sweet as a result but hubby said it was nice so that's good enough for me. That would comfortably feed 4 people with a garlic bread on the side.

mobsech2's picture
4

I made this last Friday night with the aim of feeding 4 adults. I used 4 aubergines, 3 tins of tomatoes, 2tbsp vinegar and sugar but kept the thyme and garlic as per the recipe above for the sauce. With these quantities, I could've fed 6 generously with salad and bread as suggested. The sauce is delicious though, so could always use for gnocchi or the like another day?!

susieone's picture

mary.lunn - my thoughts exactly. It sounded great until I saw that!

marylunn's picture

Thought about making this but are you sure it needs 4 x 400g tins of tomatoes?

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Questions (1)

megh18's picture

Can this be frozen?

Tips (1)

urbankaos85's picture

There is no need for vinegar and sugar in the tomato sauce. Cooking the tomatoes gently, for at least an hour, will caramelise the natural sugars in the tomatoes. This is the way we (=Italians) do it! Traditionally the tomato sauce will only have a very generous amount of basil. No sage or other herbs please! Basil makes the sauce taste fresh and smells delicious.
The pinenuts are not included inthe original recipe and are unnecessary. It is also unnecessary to put the aubergine slices in salt to soak up the bitterness- nowadays aubergines are naturally sweet.
With Italian food, simplicity works best!
M

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