Perfect Eggplant Parmigiana

    1 hour 20 minutes

    This classic Italian dish from Sicily is often simply referred to as 'parmigiana' by the Sicilian locals. The richness and depth of flavour that you get from this authentic version is well worth the extra effort. Serve eggplant parmigiana with nothing more than crusty bread and a green salad.

    27 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 6 medium-sized eggplants
    • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
    • salt, to taste
    • 500g passata
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
    • 500g fresh mozzarella cheese, drained
    • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
    • dried oregano, to taste

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Ready in:1hour20min 

    1. Remove both ends of the eggplant. Cut eggplants into slices about 3 to 4mm thick. Pat dry with paper towel.
    2. Heat about 3cm of oil in a saute pan until hot, then add eggplant slices and cook until golden on both sides. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Season with salt.
    3. Place the passata in a saucepan and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, garlic and 4 to 6 leaves of basil. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, then remove the garlic.
    4. If the mozzarella is too soft and watery, slice it and let it drain in a colander for 10 minutes.
    5. Lightly grease a baking dish. Place an even layer of the fried eggplant slices on the bottom, then cover with a ladleful or two of the passata sauce. Top with a layer of mozzarella, a pinch of oregano, Parmesan and some chopped basil leaves. Continue layering in the same way, finishing with a layer of mozzarella and finally a drizzle of olive oil.
    6. Bake at 190 degrees C for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for a few minutes before slicing and serve warm.

    Mozzarella Tip

    Fresh mozzarella can be very soft so it might need to be drained before using. Too much water will soften the fried eggplant and produce too much water in the parmigiana. You can replace fresh mozzarella with scamorza cheese, which is a bit drier but just as tasty.

    Make Ahead

    Prepare the parmigiana up to 24 hours in advance and let it sit at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours or in the fridge for longer time. This way, the eggplant will have the time to soak in the sauce and you'll get a tastier parmigiana.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Very easy to make and well worth the time! What I also like about the recipe is that it's easy to adapt to your own tastes. I added sauteed mushrooms and cayenne pepper to the tomato sauce. Definitely keeping this recipe.  -  26 May 2019  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    YUM! A perfect late-summer meal! I'd been craving eggplant Parmesan, and this was a great recipe. I used two large eggplants, rather than 6 lil' farmers' market ones. I also had a 25 oz bottle of passata, so I used the whole thing because I like plenty of sauce. I made this with half scamorza, half mozzarella, and it was delicious! Oh, and I was also running low on olive oil, so I used barely any oil and a hot cast iron skillet for the initial cooking step. I think I used 1/2 teaspoon salt in the sauce, and that - combined with coarse kosher salt sprinkled on the eggplant, plus the salty cheeses, was perfect for me. Great dish.  -  10 Sep 2018  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)