Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Matthew Forts dish of aubergines with passata and parmesan is based on a family recipe from Syracuse, Sicily
By Matthew Fort
Melanzane alla Parmigiana
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours pressing
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 round violet aubergines, or 2 medium purple aubergines, cut into 5cm thick slices
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 500 g tomato passata
  • 1 bunches basil, leaves roughly torn
  • 100 g grated parmesan


1. Lay the aubergine slices on a chopping board. Sprinkle some salt over each slice and place another chopping board on top. Place a heavy weight on top and leave for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a medium saucepan and gently fry the garlic until it begins to colour.

3. Add the passata and simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season and leave to cool completely.

4. After the aubergine slices have been pressed, briefly rinse them in a colander, then thoroughly pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan and when it's very hot, add the slices and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned, adding more spoonfuls of oil as necessary during cooking and when turning the aubergines over. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

6. Arrange the slices of aubergine in a small ovenproof dish and spoon the tomato sauce over each slice. Scatter the basil leaves then the parmesan over the top and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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