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Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Eggplant Parmesan

Updated on May 25, 2009

Yes, I'm aware that Eggplant Parmesan is not the real name for this dish: In Neapolitan dialect it's A Parmiggiana E Muligniane which translates into the Parma manner of making eggplant. I think that's really ridiculous since I've had Eggplant Parmesan all over the Parma area in Northern Italy, and nothing compares to Mamma's time honored, traditional, truly Neapolitan Eggplant Parmesan recipe.

Unlike Zucchini A Scapece which you can stuff yourself with and still stay on your diet, no matter how strict, Eggplant Parmesan may contain more calories per ounce than any other recipe in Italy, and probably the world. One good sized slice of Eggplant Parmesan certainly contains more calories than the entire Zucchini A Scapece recipe in the previous Hub... all 8 pounds of zucchini of it!

Diet killer or not, Mamma's Eggplant Parmesan is certainly one of the great dishes to issue from any Neapolitan kitchen. This recipe will likely vary from some you've seen, and again, that's because it's Mamma's own original and indisputably delectable recipe which goes back generations.

8 large Italian eggplant
4 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
24 Bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala cheese
2 large cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 small can of Italian tomato paste
Basil chiffonade and whole leaves
Egg wash
Fresh bread crumbs
Vegetable oil (E V O O if you have to)

Take 8 large Italian eggplant, not those bluish skinny Asian ones. Cut off the top and bottom and cut into just under half inch slices. Don't think they're too thick. It's Mamma's way!

Now dredge each slice first in an egg wash and then in fresh bread crumbs and then toss into a very hot oil which covers the slices. You want to fry them until they are just a tiny bit past golden brown and almost tending to a darkish brown. Mamma insists on extra virgin olive oil for frying, but please use a good vegetable oil. The flavor will become too overwhelming and greasy if you use E V O O.

Put them out to dry on multiple paper towels. Try to pat some of the excess oil off. When they're all cool enough to be able to handle with your bare hands, place a single layer at the bottom of a large roasting pan. Cover with a couple of ladles of a fresh tomato sauce you've just made with two large cans of San Marzano tomatoes (no substitutes acceptable), a small can of Italian tomato paste, a few leaves of basil chiffonade (sliced into thin stripes) and salt and pepper to taste.

Take at least a dozen large leaves of basil and distribute them equally over the layer. Two dozen is even better. Now grab some bocconcini di mozzarella di bufala you've sliced into quarters and spread all over the layer. Give it a shot of salt and pepper.

Oh, now is the time to take any of the braindead web chefs who call for the addition of ricotta and parmesan cheese in the layers and take them out the back to be shot. Ricotta? In Eggplant Parmesan? Are you making Lasagna? What kind of culinary idiot are you? And even a culinary school dropout knows you NEVER bake Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as it turns bitter. You only gently melt it over the top!

Anyway, back to the recipe. Repeat this process until you have at least three and preferably more layers of eggplant, sauce, mozzarella and basil. Plunk the rest of the sauce all over the top and throw into a medium oven of around 350 F / 175 C. Bake for an absolute minimum of one hour. You'll find that an hour and a half is even better as it makes for a drier, plumper dish. About five minutes before you want to pull it out of the oven sprinkle freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano all over the top to effectively cover it. Those five minutes will be more than enough to gently melt the Parmigiano Reggiano into a golden gooey goodness.

If your diet can take it, you may just find that Mamma's Napoli Eggplant Parmesan will hands downbeat any other version you've had in any fine Italian restaurant on either side of the pond! Buon Appetito!

Check out all of Mamma's Top 5 Recipes From Napoli:

Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Gatto'
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Zucchini A Scapece
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Eggplant Parmesan
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Rice Sartu'
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Ragu' Sauce

And check out these other scrumptious Italian recipes!

The Secret To Making The Best Braciole On Earth
The Greatest Pasta Sauce You've Never Tasted
The Largest, Most Delicious Sandwich Ever
The Amazing Unforgettable Istrian Cabbage Roll Lasagna
Rose Petal Risotto: The Most Romantic Lunch On Earth
Learn How To Make Pizza From The World's Best
San Gennaro's Real Miracle: Sausage And Pepper On A Bun
Settling It Forever: Where Is The World's Best Pizza


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    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      I'm growing eggplant in my garden for the first time this year and can't wait to try this recipe! It looks delicious!