The Literate Chef

Melanzane Parmigiana alla Dorothea (Grandma’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan)

In Recipes, Vegetables on August 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Melanzane Parmigiana


2 & ½ lbs. small Italian Eggplants, about 4
1 & ¾ lbs. fresh unsalted Mozzarella, sliced
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 25oz. (wt.) jars of Silver Palate San Marzano Marinara Sauce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
A roll of paper towels


A day in advance
1.    Rinse, dry and slice the eggplants in half horizontally, in order to work with a flat surface. Slice each half lengthwise again, as thinly as possible, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Discard the two outermost (top) slices, which are all skin.
2.    Stand a colander in a wide shallow bowl and layer the sliced eggplant in it, sprinkling kosher salt on each layer. Place a paper towel over the last layer and place a heavy weight on top. Leave to stand overnight. (This process removes most of the liquid from the eggplant, thereby making it easier to fry and use less oil.)

The next day
3.    Remove eggplant slices from the colander and layer on paper towels to absorb remaining liquid.
4.    In the meantime prepare the sauce: add 4 tbsp. of olive oil to a 3 qt. pot. Add the garlic and sauté until translucent, stir in the oregano and add the Marinara Sauce. Heat on high for 5  minutes, and add the basil at the end.

Frying the Eggplant

5.    Heat 2 tbsps. of oil in a large non-stick pan. In small batches, being careful to not overcrowd the pan, add the eggplant slices and sauté on medium heat, turning frequently for several minutes, until a light golden brown on both sides. Place cooked eggplant on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Continue until all of the eggplant is fried, adding more olive oil tom the pan, as necessary.

What it should look like when fried

6.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
7.    In a 9.5 by 13 inch non-reactive baking dish, spread two ladles of sauce on the bottom. Add a layer of eggplant; next, layer half of the sliced hard-boiled eggs, and then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
8.    Repeat step 7, sauce, eggplant, egg, and mozzarella. At this point all of the eggplant and hard-boiled egg should be used.
9.    Spread sauce over it again, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with remaining mozzarella.
10.    Place pan in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
11.    Remove and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and serve cold with a loaf of crusty Italian bread. Mangia!

Please see You Can Take it With You

  1. Richard this looks great. Did you make it after we left. (sad face inserted here). I think I can try this and thanks for the pictures – it helps me follow the instructions. Marge

  2. Nice recipe. I love the look of those fried eggplant slices.

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