Italian Parmiggiana

I will not compete with my Italian mother-in-law, therefore following is a simpler version of a real Neapolitan parmiggana. My hubby would call it the American version. ūüėČ


  • 1 large onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 large eggplant, sliced into rounds about 1.5cm (1/2in) thick
  • 2 x 400g (140z) can tomatoes
  • 2 x Mozzarella cheese‚Ä®1 bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 2 large handfuls freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra to serve


  1. Cook onion with a little olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat until soft but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile sprinkle eggplant layers with salt and allow to stand while the onion cooks.
  3. Add tomatoes and a few basil leaves to the onion. Crush tomatoes to break up and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes to an hour ‚Äď you just want the flavours to come together ‚Äď no need for the sauce to reduce. And don‚Äôt worry about seasoning it ‚Äď there will be plenty of salt in the eggplant and cheese.
  4. Preheat oven to 220C (425F). Generously oil a large baking tray.
  5. Pat eggplant dry with paper towel, removing as much salt as possible. Place eggplant in a single layer on the tray (you may need 2 trays) and drizzle generously with more olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 ‚Äď 30 minutes, turning once or twice until eggplant is very soft and golden brown on both sides.
  7. Place a layer of tomato sauce in a medium baking dish. Layer with eggplant slices, top with more sauce, a few basil leaves and some mozzarella. Repeat the layers until everything is used up finishing with a generous sprinkle of cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 ‚Äď 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is hot and bubbling.

If you were after a shortcut you could substitute in a large jar of tomato passata or pre-made tomato pasta sauce. Lovely with a crunchy, bitter leaf salad but also excellent the next day as a sandwich filling.

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