Italian Language Blog

Parmigiana di Melanzane Posted by on Sep 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

Melanzane, melanzane e ancora melanzane! (Eggplants, eggplants and more eggplants! or aubergines as they are called in the U.K.) This long hot summer the melanzane on our orto (vegetable garden) have been very prolific, and I’m trying to find different ways to cook them. This old traditional recipe is definitely our favorite: la parmigiana di melanzane!



Quattro melanzane medie (4 medium size eggplants / aubergines)

Sei tazze di salsa di pomodoro (6 cups of tomato sauce)

Una manciata di basilico (a handful of basil)

Due tazze di Parmigiano grattugiato (2 cups of grated parmesan cheese)

Due mozzarelle (2 mozzarella cheeses)

Olio per friggere (oil for frying)

Sale (salt)



Slice the eggplants about 1 cm thick, spread them out on a tray in a single layer, and sprinkle them with salt to remove any bitterness. Leave them for about 1 hour, then rinse them and dry them thoroughly. In a big frying pan heat plenty of oil, fry the eggplants until they have a dark, golden color on both sides, then put them on some kitchen paper to remove the excess oil. In the meantime chop the mozzarella into small cubes, and rinse, dry and chop the basil. In a large baking dish (a Lasagna dish for example), pour a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, enough to cover the bottom. Make a layer of the fried eggplant slices, cover them with some more tomato sauce, plenty of chopped mozzarella, some basil, and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano cheese. Repeat the layers making sure to finish off with plenty of Parmigiano to give it a nice golden crust when baked. Put the dish in a hot oven, 200 degrees C, or 400 degrees F, Gas Mark 6, for about 40 minutes.

You can also make this recipe with zucchini / courgettes, in which case it is called parmigiana di zucchini, and with carciofi (globe artichokes) which is called parmigiana di carciofi

Buon Appetito!

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  1. William Auge:

    The cool, short summer in Chicago has produced good results with my melanzane as well. I just made la parmigiana di melanzane. I also use melanzane to make pasta alla norma, which I first enjoyed in Catania. I would write this in Italian, but it would probably take me 1/2 an hour.

  2. Vince Mooney:

    Salve Serena:

    I have been noticing, over the last few months, that it is not uncommon for there to be silent letters in some Italian words as pronounced by native speakers. For example, today’s Word of the Day, “compiere”. I do not hear the first ‘e’ being pronounced. Also there was a word a few days ago where the letter ‘e’ was pronounced as the Italians pronounce ‘i’ Do Italians have words that are routinely pronounced differently than they are spelled?



  3. Serena:

    Salve William! I’m not familiar with “Pasta alla Norma”, and I would really like to have the recipe, could you post it in a comment please.

    Grazie in anticipo.


  4. Serena:

    Ciao Vince! I only have a dial-up connection, so I don’t tend to listen to the Word of the Day, because it takes ages to load it and play it, therefore I can’t check the pronunciation. However, as a rule, the Italian language has only got two cases of silent letters, i.e. the letter “h” which is a symbol rather than a letter, and the “i” after the letters “c” or “g” followed by another vowel, such as “ciao” or “giorno”. Each one of the five vowels has got only one pronunciation. Well, “e” and “o” can be open or close, but they don’t change drastically. From my personal experience of teaching Italian to foreigners for many years, I know that many people cannot hear the “e” at the end of “grazie”, and tend to pronounce it as an “a”, i.e. they say “grazia”. Another common mistake is that they don’t hear the “u” in “buongiorno” and pronunce it “bongiorno”.

    A presto, Serena

  5. William Auge:

    Salve Serena,
    ecco la ricetta della pasta alla norma.

    2 lbs. pompodori, sbucciato e quarto
    1/2 tazza di olio di oliva
    1/2 cipola, tritato
    2 spicchi d’aglio,sminuzzato
    sale e pepe
    olio far friggere la melazana
    1 melazana grande,affettare
    1 lb. penna pasta
    1/2 tazza di basilica
    ricotta salata grattugiato

    Heat the olive oil in large saucepan, add the onion and garlic, saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook until all liquid has evaporated.
    Heat oil for frying eggplant, fry until golden brown, drain on paper towels.
    Prepare the pasta, toss with fried eggplant, tomato sauce and basil leaves. Sprinkle with ricotta salata.

    Spero tu capisci il mio italiano. Io godo il tuo blogs sulla lingua italiana. Grazie molto!

    buon cucinando, William

  6. Serena:

    Grazie mille per la ricetta, la provero’ appena avro’ trovato la ricotta salata, che e’ tipica siciliana, ma non e’ comune qui in Lunigiana.

    A presto!


  7. William Auge:

    Ciao Serena,
    sorprendentemente ho trovato ricotta salata a chicago al negozio alimentare italiano. Purtroppo, quel negozio di recente ha cessato l’attivita. Buona fortuna con la tua ricerta.
    Dimmi se ti piace la ricetta.

    auguri, William

  8. Serena:

    Salve William,

    ancora non ho trovato la ricotta salata e penso che Chicago sia un po’ troppo lontana per me. Se non riesco a trovarla usero’ il pecorino stagionato, possibilmente quello romano, che e’ molto salato. Sono sicura che sara’ ottimo lo stesso.

    A presto!

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