MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA

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Region: Campania NB Video shows salad, which must be bought separately

Serves 2

Shelf life 2 days from delivery (keep refrigerated, suitable for home freezing)

Very easy to cook 

Takes 40 minutes

Click for recipe & video

This is the classic Italian dish, and indeed the classic vegetarian Italian dish. A little of the secret to quality comes from the ingredients - we use aubergines and san Marzano tomatoes grown on the fertile Pontine marshes, south of Rome; buffalo mozzarella from Mondragone.

But most of it comes from the hand of the cook - slicing the aubergines just so, salting them just right, dredging in flour then egg and frying hot enough the aubergine itself does not become sodden with oil, and getting the balance just right between bright tomato, rich aubergine, delicate comforting cheese (mozzarella and 24 month parmesan) and aromatic basil.

Once the layered dish is assembled in a tray, all that remains is to make it - which we leave to you, so you can enjoy the dish just-made. That said, this is a rare beast as good cold as it is hot, universally popular and better than day after than the day of - so it is prudent always to make extra.