Eggplant Parmesan: Parmigiana di Melanzane

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
45 min
25 min

4 servings

  • 2 pounds (about 2 medium-sized) eggplant
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, seasoned with 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves and 1/4 cup pecorino
  • 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Basic Tomato Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and towel dry the eggplant. Slice the eggplant horizontally about 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to rest about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the eggplant and dry on towels.

In a saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until just smoking. Press the drained eggplant pieces into the seasoned bread crumb mixture and saute until light golden brown on both sides. Repeat with all of the pieces. On a cookie sheet lay out the 4 largest pieces of eggplant. Place 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over each piece and place a thin slice of mozzarella on top of each. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and top each with the next smallest piece of eggplant, then sauce then mozzarella. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients have been used, finishing again with the Parmigiano. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top of each little stack is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes.


In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve.

This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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    75 Reviews
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    Hands down the best eggplant parmesan I've ever tasted thanks to my dear friend who made it for our dinner last night. thanks to Mario too, of course. Wish he was still on TV. A real chef, not celebrity chef.
    LOVED!!! This was one of the best eggplant parmesan recipes I have ever had and certainly the best that I've made at home. I cooked the Eggplant for 30 min before stacking. I was worried about the small amounts of everything as I am used to the eggplant being fully coated in bread crumbs and then smothered in cheese and sauce but with this recipe all the flavors really stand out. Excellent!!
    First time making eggplant parm and it was delicious! We dipped in eggs before breadcrumbs.
    This was the best eggplant Parmesan I've ever had! I made it for my moms birthday dinner. Eggplant Parmesan is one of her favorite dishes. I thought Mario's recipe looked the best so I made it and it was a HUGE success! Mom said it was the best she's ever had! I made only a few minor adjustments: I added 1/4 cup red wine to the sauce (you must make the sauce, it made the dish fresh and amazing). I also used petite diced tomatoes instead of whole. I made an egg wash so that the breadcrumb mixture would adhere to the eggplant. As previous reviewers stated, the bread crumbs did not stick to the dry eggplant, and I made fresh breadcrumbs. Other than that, I made the dish exactly as Mario said. It does take time to make, but I'm telling you it's worth every minute! Thank you Mr. Batali for this wonderful recipe! Grazie and buon appetito!
    Simple - Great recipe. I get requests to make this all the time. Love the garlic and the sauce.  
    If you are in a pinch for time - can substitute a good quality jar sauce and pre-sliced mozzarella cheese. Nevertheless, if you have time, the homemade simple sauce and fresh mozzarella, in my opinion, turns this into a four to five star easy recipe. 
    I rarely have a lot of time so I make the sauce one or two days ahead. Then day of - there is really not a lot of active time required.
    This was really good. Finally my Husband is eating eggplant. Thank you Mario.
    Very good, the whole family enjoyed it. Was even good reheated the next day. Will definitely make this again.
    This is absolutely a wonderful eggplant parmigiana recipe! The only modifications I made, was using Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs, I dipped my eggplant in an eggwash, I used canned crushed tomatoes instead of the peeled whole tomatoes and I made in a casserole dish, layering the eggplant. It was fantastico! Even my husband loved it and he is a meat and potatoes guy. This will be something I make regularly. Very fresh and healthy. Love it!
    Big Hit. My family is trying to eat better and try new dishes. I changed a few of the items. Thank you!!
    Delicious!!! Very easy to make.
    Excellent eggplant parm! I used panko bread crumbs, and baked at 450 for 25 min to cook and crisp up the eggplant. I found this to be healthier and still as tasty. Will add this recipe to our regular rotation!
    Very tasty. I had totally forgotten how wonderful grated carrots are to tomato sauce. So simple but sooooo good. Only criticism is the recipe takes WAY longer to prep than stated. Cooking time was accurate, though.
    So easy and so good! As others have said, be sure to dip the eggplant in an eggwash before the breadcrumbs. The sauce was simple and fresh.I added fresh basil to the sauce as well as the thyme. I had no carrots but it didn't seem to matter. Love this recipe!
    This recipe was delicious--the sauce was outstanding. I had to use an eggwash as the breadcrumbs did not stick to the eggplant without that. Is that what Mario does? I plan to try the recipe version where the eggplant is cooked in the oven rather than fried next time just to see if I like that as well. But this version was truly wonderful.
    This was just terrific. For those with various complaints, learn to cook, learn to follow a recipe.
    jraymond - was your oil smoking hot in the pan before you added the eggplant? If the oil is hot enough, the breadcrumbs will not absorb the oil.
    Ok what am I doing wrong? 4 tablespoons of olive oil? The breadcrumbs sucked that up in about 2 seconds flat, I ended up using WAY more oil to fry them.... like enough that I was seeing the calorie counter hit it's max!!!! 
    What did I do wrong?
    I have to AGREE with some of the earlier reviews. This was my first time to make eggplant parm, and I do not think the directions were as clear as they could have been. First, the breadcrumb mixture DOES NOT STICK to the eggplant. We tried to fry it anyway and it just did not work. So then we added an egg wash which helped. IT IS IMPORTANT TO DETERMINE THE FRYING TIME, because some of ours were not cooked all the way through (even after oven cooking) even though they were browned. Oil temperature must play a role (that should be mentioned in the directions in my opinion). Overall, it the sauce was DELICIOUS and the cheese choices were primo!!! My 5 and 8 year olds ate it up I am sure because there was so much cheese!! I will make this again but going to bake the eggplant first to avoid using 3/4 of a bottle of olive oil and to hopefully gain a more evenly cooked eggplant!!
    Delicious! This was just about as good as his restaurant's! (we're lucky to have one of them fairly close by 
    The sauce is terrific!
    Love, Love, Love this recipe. Mario, sorry I am stealing this recipe!
    This tasted very good...but to me, it was just like eggplant parmesan just, a 'prettier version" the basic tomato sauce was very good!! I made it again to use put on just put on whole wheat pasta. Recipe is a definite keeper. Very attractive as I said !!
    the best,super easy.*_*
    Dear Annie from Fort Worth. Actually, this IS technically Eggplant Parmesan. Parmigiano-Reggiano is simply the name given to parmesan cheese that is made in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italy. In addition, while the dish is vegetarian it is not technically vegan since the mozzarella cheese is an animal byproduct. I plan to make it tonight - it seems the perfect Friday night dinner on this cool Chicago fall evening.
    I want to start off by saying that I understand that it's technically not eggplant parmesan without the parmesan. With that said, I was tasked with making a vegan meal, and this was an incredibly delicious, comforting meal. Cheese (and ranch dressing, but I digress!) is my ultimate weakness, but the flavors were so phenomenal, I didn't miss the cheese. Vegan modifications or not, this is definitely a keeper!
    Che magnifica!!!!!! Ho mangiata questo piatto, e poi dopo, mi sento benissima!!!! Tanti Grazie Mario!!!!!!!
    Wow! so easy to prepare I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out so delicious.I loved the great presentation my family loved it for sure it's a keeper. Thanks Mario you are the best!l
    Never having cooked eggplant before, I wasn't sure what to expect. This turned out delicious and was quite simple to put together. I will be making this again. It would be nice to serve to company.
    What a great recipe for a first time eggplant parmesan experience. Mario's recipe is easy and flavorful with the fresh basil and parmesan in the crumb coating. I appreciated the explanation of the "bitterness removal" process that makes such a difference in the taste. This dish got rave reviews at my house with a quick disappearance on the plate of my "middle school dining diva" and we'll definitely serve this again sooner than later!
    Made this for dinner during the week. Easy to put together and tasted great.
    This was my first time making eggplant parm and it went perfectly. I followed the recipe exactly and had no problems. I personally prefer my eggplant parm with a sauce that is not so chunky so next time I will not make Mario's sauce but my own.
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