Aubergine Stacks (Melanzane Parmigiana)

Alex Mackay recreates a magnificent meal with a Mediterranean feel from famed Italian restaurant, Don Alfonso
By Alex Mackay
Aubergine Stacks (Melanzane Parmigiana)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 small firm aubergines
  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 bunches basil, reserve a little to garnish
  • 100 g flour
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 100 g parmesan, freshly grated

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 pinches sugar
  • 1 pinches dried red chilli flakes, (peperoncini, the little baby ones) to taste


Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5. Slice each aubergine into six lengthways and lay the slices flat on a tray. Brush with half of the olive oil and the lemon juice and season well. Bake for ten minutes until soft; leave to cool.

While the aubergine is cooking, slice each tomato into four and each mozzarella ball into eight. Cover four slices of the aubergine with two slices each of tomato and mozzarella, adding a large leaf of basil between each slice.

Put a second slice of aubergine on top and repeat. Finally, put the remaining slices of aubergine on top and press down well so that they stick together.

Coat the aubergines with the flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs and Parmesan mixed together.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergine packets for a couple of minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for ten minutes.

To make the tomato sauce, fry the garlic and onion in the olive oil for five minutes until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, 200ml of water, a little salt, sugar and dried chilli to taste. Simmer for ten minutes or so and blend to a fine puree.

Serve the aubergines on top of the tomato sauce, drizzled with a little olive oil and topped with basil.

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