Eggs, eggplants and a betrayed tradition

Parmigiana di melanzane

I should start saying “this is a real classic of Campania and the south of Italy: the parmigiana with eggplants and tomato sauce”… But reading here and there, UUUHHH  deep serious wound to my familiar and national pride, it came out that the original recipe of parmigiana was something very different from what it is now and that it was not even Italian!

The whole story is here.

But in very brief, parmigiana was probably invented in some Arab countries of the Mediterranean in Early Medieval times and then it spread all over Europe. At the beginning it was a rich savoury cake made of different layers of fried meat or fish where vegetables had a very little role. When and how it arrived in Italy and transformed into an eggplants’ thing is still unknown. So, with some variations it is very common in all the Southern Italy. In Naples the eggplants’ slices are just cut and fried, in the internal regions of Campania they are coated with flour and eggs. This is my family traditional recipe:

1/2 kg. eggplants
2 eggs
flour, a couple handfuls
tomato sauce, already cooked, 2 cups
parmigiano reggiano at taste
mozzarella (at taste, is not essential)
salt
light oil for frying

Wash and dry the eggplants, peel them and slice them in long slices, about 4-5 mm. thick. Prepare all purpose flour in a bowl and coat the slices with it. In a plate beat the two eggs with two pinches salt. Gently dip the eggplants slices, after the flour coating, in the eggs. Deep fry them in vegetal light oil (canola or peanuts) and set them aside. Once you have finished frying, start to arrange layers in a baking-pan, dressing each layer of eggplants with tomato sauce and parmigiano (if you like, alternate few layers of mozzarella, my mum doesn’t use this). Then bake briefly, about 15 minutes, in oven at 350° fahr. Serve warm or cold as side dish.

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4 Responses

  1. sono venuta subito a trovarti; una campana! melanzane, polpettine, origano, ricotta, fiordilatte di agerola, palatone, tutti i profumi arrivano in schiera e rendono felici il naso e la bocca mentre gli occhi si spalancano. benvenuta nel mondo dei blog.

  2. Ciao Artemisia e grazie, che bellissimo benvenuto…. ma che forza sti blogger!!

  3. I believe parmigiana is one of those dishes for which every family has its own recipe: and that is the tradition. Thanks for participating.

  4. […] delicious. Cinzia and Michael made a Parmigiana di melanzane (eggplants parmigiana, following my mum’s recipe here). Michael put his appetite mostly… Aj and Kevin put together a terrific “Gorgonzola […]

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