Aubergine Parmigiana is possibly one of the most famous Italian dishes, right up there with the pasta and the pizza. Erroneously attributed to the north of Italy, possibly because of the name, this dish was in fact born in Sicily more than two centuries ago.

A Neapolitan version soon followed, where a batter of flour and eggs is used to coat the aubergines before frying them.

This recipe is a simplified, quicker version of the classic Neapolitan “parmigiana di melanzane”. It’s delicious served cold, and it’s an ideal picnic food.

White aubergine parmigiana

Ingredients for 6 portions:

6-8 large aubergines (about 2 kg)

500gr mozzarella

6 eggs

150gr grated parmesan

1 large bunch of fresh basil

Salt and pepper


  1. Wash the aubergines, cut them lengthways in slices about 1/2 cm thick. Layer them in a colander, sprinkling them with coarse salt each layer. Cover with a small plate and weight it down with a small weight (a bottle of water, for example). Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Thinly slice the mozzarella, put the slices on a plate and let them dry in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This passage can be avoided, but the dish might end up quite watery, due to the large amount of mozzarella used.
  3. Preheat the oven at 200°C, gas mark 6.
  4. Rinse the aubergine and dry them thoroughly. Fry them in vegetable oil, until they are lightly golden on both sides. Put them on plate lined with kitchen paper, to absorb the excess oil. Alternatively, for a healthier version, the aubergines can be grilled until slightly charred on both sides.
  5. In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Take a oven dish, measuring about 20cm by 40cm. Brush the interior with a little olive oil, and put a single layer of aubergines, then layer some mozzarella on top, then a layer of basil leaves, sprinkle with parmesan, and drizzle it with a couple of tbsp of whisked eggs.
  7. Cover it with a layer of aubergine, and repeat the process until all the ingredients are finished. Terminate with a layer of aubergines, sprinkle them with abundant parmesan and drizzle with the remaining eggs. Put it in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the top has become a nice golden colour. It can be served hot or cold.

Consume with a fruity, aromatic white wine, such as the Greco di Tufo.