Are you looking for a tasty and healthy recipe to impress your friends and family? Look no further than aubergine parmigiana! This classic Italian dish is packed with flavour and nutrients, making it the perfect choice for a hearty and satisfying meal.
In this article, we'll give you the recipe for aubergine parmigiana, along with calorie content and nutritional value breakdown, fun food hacks, additional vegetables to use, substitution lists, alternatives for gluten-free and vegan diets, serving size information, and suggestions for pairing. So let's get started.
The dish Aubergine Parmigiana, also known as Eggplant Parmesan or Parmigiana di Melanzane in Italian, is a classic Italian dish that originated in the region of Southern Italy, particularly in the areas of Campania, Sicily, and Calabria.
The origins of Aubergine Parmigiana can be traced back to Mediterranean cuisine and the introduction of eggplants, or aubergines, to Italy from the Middle East. The dish evolved as a way to make use of this versatile vegetable in a delicious and satisfying manner.
The name "Parmigiana" does not refer to the use of Parmesan cheese in the dish, as it might be assumed. Instead, it is believed to have originated from the Sicilian dialect word "parmigiana," which means louvred wooden shutters. The term was used to describe the layering technique in which the eggplant slices are arranged in a similar way to the overlapping shutters.
Table of Contents
Recipe for Aubergine (Eggplant) Parmigiana
- 2 large aubergines
- 1 can (400g) of chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 200g of mozzarella cheese, grated
- 50g of parmesan cheese, grated
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Slice the aubergines into rounds, about 1cm thick.
- Place the aubergine slices on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Let them rest for 30 minutes to remove any excess water.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they become translucent.
- Add the canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the aubergine slices have rested, rinse them with water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- In a baking dish, spread a layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of aubergine slices, and a layer of grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Repeat the layering until you run out of ingredients.
- Top the final layer with cheese and fresh basil leaves.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
- Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Calorie Content and Nutritional Value
One serving (200g) of aubergine parmigiana contains approximately:
- 283 calories
- 16g of fat
- 19g of carbohydrates
- 18g of protein
- 8g of fibre
- 21% of your daily intake of vitamin A
- 30% of your daily intake of vitamin C
- 18% of your daily intake of calcium
- 16% of your daily intake of iron
Fun Food Hack: Add Other Vegetables
While aubergines are the star of this dish, you can also add other vegetables to make it even more nutritious and delicious. Some great options include courgettes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. Simply slice them thinly and layer them in between the aubergine slices for a colourful and flavorful dish.
If you don't have certain ingredients on hand, don't worry! Here are some easy substitutions you can make:
- Instead of canned tomatoes, use tomato puree or passata.
- Instead of mozzarella, use any other type of cheese that melts well, such as cheddar or provolone.
- Instead of parmesan, use any other hard cheese, such as pecorino romano or asiago.
Gluten-Free and Vegan Alternatives
If you're following a gluten-free or vegan diet, you can still enjoy aubergine parmigiana! Here are some simple substitutions:
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.
- Use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese for a vegan option.
- Omit the cheese altogether for a vegan and dairy-free option.
Serving Size Information
This recipe makes 4 servings, each weighing approximately 200g. However, you can adjust the serving size to suit your needs. If you're serving this as a side dish, you may want to make smaller portions. If you're serving it as a main course, you may want to make larger portions.
Aubergine parmigiana is a delicious and hearty main course that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some serving suggestions to complete your meal:
- Garlic Bread: Serve some warm garlic bread on the side to soak up the extra tomato sauce and cheese.
- Salad: A light salad with a tangy vinaigrette is a refreshing contrast to the rich and savoury flavours of the parmigiana.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and onions, bring out the sweetness of the aubergine and add some extra nutrition to your meal.
- Pasta: Serve the parmigiana over a bed of pasta, such as spaghetti or penne, for a classic Italian combination.
- Breaded Chicken Cutlets: Breaded chicken cutlets make a great protein-packed side dish that complements the parmigiana's cheesy goodness.
- Grilled Vegetables: Grilled vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers, add a smoky flavour that pairs well with the rich and savoury parmigiana.
No matter what you choose to serve with your aubergine parmigiana, it's sure to be a satisfying and comforting meal that's perfect for any occasion.
Variations of the Recipe to Try
Looking to switch up your aubergine parmigiana recipe? Here are some tasty variations to try out:
- Caprese Style: Swap out the tomato sauce for fresh sliced tomatoes and add fresh basil leaves and sliced buffalo mozzarella cheese in between the layers.
- Meat Lover's: Brown some ground beef or sausage and mix it with the tomato sauce before layering it with the aubergine slices and cheese.
- Spicy: Add some red pepper flakes or chopped jalapenos to the tomato sauce to give it a kick of heat.
- Mediterranean: Add some chopped black olives, artichokes, and roasted red peppers in between the layers for a Mediterranean twist.
- Cheesy: Double the amount of cheese used in the recipe or add some ricotta cheese in between the layers for an extra cheesy version.
- Grilled: Instead of baking the aubergine slices, grill them on a barbecue or grill pan until they are charred and slightly softened before layering them with the tomato sauce and cheese.
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