Monday, 13 May 2013

Parmigiana Melanzane

The dish is claimed by both Campania and Sicily. While "alla Parmigiana" usually means "from Parma", the dish is not really a part of the cuisine of Parma. It is a Southern Italian dish.
Many variations are found world-wide, most often in countries where large numbers of Italians immigrated. Examples of dishes developed outside of Italy from the early parmigianas include veal (Veal Parmigiana) or chicken breast (Chicken Parmigiana) dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, breaded, shallow-fried and topped with a marinara sauce  and mozzarella. It is then usually baked until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

The Recipe

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
olive oil
1 small bunch basil , shredded
3 medium aubergines
2 balls mozzarella , sliced
a handful grated Parmesan
Pre-heat the oven to 180 centigrade/ gas mark 4.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and gently cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cinnamon and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the basil and season.
Slice the aubergines widthways about 1/2cm thick rounds. Brush both sides with oil, season and griddle, turning a few times until completely tender.
Remove the cinnamon stick and put a few spoonfuls of the sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Cover with the aubergine and mozzarella then repeat, ending with a thin layer of sauce.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden.

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