Melanzane Parmigiana | An Italian Classic

Melanzane Parmigiana is a classic Italian dish made with fried eggplant, a rich tomato sauce, hard cheese and topped with Parmesan. I added breadcrumbs to mine to make good use of my leftover focaccia.

Melanzane Parmigiana
Head straight on to the Recipe For Melanzane Parmigiana

I am being very zealous in saving water and heard about a water warrior on the radio. It is basically an attachment that fits onto your waste pipe. This in turn takes a standard hose pipe fitting. You connect up the hose pipe and then direct the grey water to where you want it. I found one online and bought it with the intention of capturing the water that comes out of our washing machine and dishwasher. I took it home and saw that it did not fit onto our waste pipe. So, I went to my local plumbing supplier and Lynne told me that the contraption was designed for Gauteng. A region up North where they use higher water pressure and therefore have larger waste pipes. She managed to find an adaptor for me and so it went back home.

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I took it out of the box to fit, and Dave noticed what I had bought. He told me that it wouldn’t work in our house. We only have two waste pipes and for washing machines and dishwashers the unit isn’t suitable. The water needs to be free-flowing and not restricted in any way. And so my need to save water was thwarted. It has been much like that with a lot of things recently. I have had recipe failure after recipe failure. My desire to be in the kitchen was thwarted by this and I could not wait to get away. We came home and since then I have had at least one success. This Melanzane Parmigiana was so good that I had to repeat it the next night. I am even going to make more to keep in the freezer for the times I don’t feel like cooking.

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5 from 3 votes

Melanzane Parmigiana

This is a traditional Italian dish and you can use any vegetable in season
Recipe Category: Vegetarian
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 15 mls olive oil plus extra for frying
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 125 mls red wine
  • 1 x 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes broken up
  • 15 mls tomato purée
  • A pinch of fructose
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 10 g fresh basil torn up
  • 1 medium sized aubergine cut into thick slices
  • Coarse salt for the aubergine
  • 60 g hard mozzarella cheese grated
  • 25 g Parmesan cheese grated
  • 15 mls bread crumbs


  • Place the olive oil into a sauce pan and heat
  • Add the onion and sauté until soft
  • Season generously and add the garlic, wine, tomatoes, tomato purée, fructose, cayenne pepper and basil
  • Simmer for 1 hour and set aside once cooked to cool slightly
  • Place the aubergine into a colander and sprinkle coarse salt all over
  • Leave to stand for 30 minutes then brush the salt off
  • Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines until golden in colour
  • Drain on paper towel
  • Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • Place a thin layer of the tomato sauce into an oven proof dish
  • Layer half of the aubergine slices on top and then layer with more tomato sauce
  • Sprinkle ovedr the mozzarella then add another layer of aubergines
  • Finish with the tomato sauce and then sprinkle over the Parmesan and bread crumbs
  • Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime November 6:

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