While traveling through Italy, eggplant (or aubergine) became one of my favorite dishes. Whether in Northern or Southern Italy, a version of this dish is on most menus. Interestingly though, eggplant Parmesan (or melanzane parmigiana) is typically served as an appetizer dish.
It is most often baked in the oven like a lasagna, but I’ve adapted the recipe so that it can be cooked on a stove top. I travel frequently I often end up staying in places that either don’t have an oven or have limited burners on the stove. And beyond that, sometimes turning on the oven during summer when eggplant is easiest to find isn’t practical.
Luckily, this version of Eggplant Parmigiana is very simple to make right on the stove. I do recommend the initial step of salting the eggplant rounds and allowing them to sit for about an hour to remove any potential bitterness. But if you’re pressed for time, skip it.
We use our favorite simple tomato sauce recipe in this dish. It can be made ahead and even frozen in small batches to use as needed. You can use a pre-made canned sauce, but the extra effort, particularly if done in advance, is well worth the effort.
While we are at it, here are a few additional eggplant recipes that you might enjoy!
Makes 4 Servings
- 1 Large Eggplant, or Aubergine
- 1000 ml or 4 Cups Tomato Sauce
- 125 grams or 5 oz Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese
- 75 grams or 3 oz Parmigiana-Reggiano Cheese
- 3 eggs
- 125 grams or 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 125 grams or 1 cup Flour
- Olive Oil for Frying
- Fresh Basil, for garnish
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Remove the top of the eggplant with the leaves. Cut into rounds about ½ inch or less (1.25 cm) so that there are 8 pieces after discarding the rounded end.
- (Optional Step) Sprinkle salt on both sides and allow to drain on a paper towel for an hour. This will remove some moisture and any potential bitterness. Rinse and dry.
- Beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Arrange the bread crumbs and flour on flat dishes.
- Add enough olive oil into a skillet so that there is about ¼ inch (.6 cm) covering the bottom and add it to the stove over medium heat.
- After the oil is heated begin preparing the eggplant to be fried. Dredge both sides of an eggplant round in the flour, then dip into the egg mixture and coat with the bread crumbs.
- Add as many rounds as comfortably fit into the skillet, allowing the oil to cook all sides and so that you can easily turn them over. Add additional olive oil as needed.
- Cook until golden brown on both sides (about 2 minutes each). Set them aside to drain on a paper towel.
- Once all of the eggplants rounds are cooked, addl ½ of the tomato sauce to the bottom of a clean skillet.
- Place 4 larger rounds in the pan and sprinkle with ½ of the cheese.
- Stack the smaller rounds on top and cover with the rest of the tomato sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes. The eggplant should be soft and the cheese melted. Remove from heat and allow to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Plate and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
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Note: This recipe was originally developed for and posted in House Sitting World Magazine as part of a monthly feature in collaboration with Venturists.net