Melanzane alla Parmigiana/Eggplant Parmesan

Searching for a great Italian melanzane recipe? This classic eggplant parmigiana recipe is one of the greatest of all Tuscan recipes.

Melanzane, is what Italians call eggplant, and this is the best way to cook eggplant (also called aubergine/melanzane/brinjal depending on the country).

A popular American variant of Eggplant Parmigiana (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) is Chicken Parmesan which originated among Italian immigrants. The dish is a variation of the traditional Italian dish.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

A Story About this Melanzane Recipe

A friend of ours, a signora by the name of Elena, let me share this previously secret recipe on my site. Elena is from Tuscany, and she tells me that this recipe has been in her family for many generations.  

She learned to cook it from her mamma and nonna when she was little and they learnt it from their mothers and nonnas in turn.

It is so much a family tradition that it has never been written down... before now that is.

I've tried many melanzane recipes before, I thought they were great...then I tried this one. WOW!

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


6 melanzane (eggplants), sliced lengthways, about 6mm thick

olive oil

30g butter

salt, to taste

500g tomato sauce (made with peeled tomatoes, an onion, a carrot, stick of celery, basil and a little olive oil)

50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano

a handful of basil leaves, chopped

250g fiordilatte mozzarella

Cooking Instructions

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/356 Fahrenheit.

2) Place the melanzane (eggplants), on a baking tray, then brush with olive oil.

3) Place in the oven until soft. Remove.

4) Butter a baking dish, then layer the bottom with the melanzane (eggplants). Season with salt.

5) Cover with the tomato sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped basil, and mozzarella. Repeat for at least 3 layers.

6) Cover the last layer of melanzane (eggplants) with only tomato sauce, then place a few rounds of mozzarella slices on top.

7) Bake in a 180 degrees Celsius/356 Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Elena's Tip: This will taste even better the following day, so if you can resist eating it, immediately refrigerate it overnight.

Your Questions about Melanzane alla Parmigiana Answered

What are the best wines to pair with Melanzane alla Parmigiana?

Italian wines that pair well with Melanzane alla Parmigiana include medium-bodied red wines such as Chianti Classico, Sangiovese, Barbera, or a light, fruity red like Dolcetto. For white wine lovers, a crisp, dry white wine like Vermentino or Falanghina can complement the dish nicely.

What can I serve with Melanzane alla Parmigiana?

Melanzane alla Parmigiana pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including a simple green salad, crusty bread, or roasted vegetables.

Can Melanzane alla Parmigiana be frozen?

Yes, Melanzane alla Parmigiana can be frozen either before or after baking. To freeze, wrap the dish tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then thaw and bake when ready to enjoy.

Is Melanzane alla Parmigiana the same as Eggplant Parmesan?

Yes, Melanzane alla Parmigiana is the Italian name for what is commonly known as Eggplant Parmesan in English-speaking countries. Both refer to the same dish of layered eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese.

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