Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Funghetto eggplants
( Melanzane a funghetto)

Authentic Italian recipe

Funghetto eggplants are known throughout Italy but have their origins in Campania (melanzane a fungitielli). So, as usual, there are a lot versions depending on the area. The original recipe is nothing more than cooking eggplants in the pan, in olive oil with garlic and parsley, that is what we Italians call trifolare. Just like we Italians usually cook mushrooms, hence the name (funghetto is the Italian for little mushroom). But even here the cooking methods may be different. Mediterranean diet recipe. Vegan dish for summer too.

difficulty: easy

time: 30 minutes

calories: (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 1kg (4.4 pounds) eggplants
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • Oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil, for frying
  • Coarse salt
  • Powdered pepper or chilli
easy recipe
preparation: 15 minutes
plus time to remove bitterness from eggplants
cooking: 15 minutes
total: 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: n.c. (kcal) - n.c. (kJ)
Protein: n.c. (g)
Total fat: n.c. (g)
Total carbohydrate: n.c. (g)
Sugars: n.c. (g)

Download free PDF version (99 download).

Funghetto eggplant recipe

I begin with the most widespread recipe in Italy, exactly as I learned in a lot of regions. Another version below!

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare eggplants.
    Peel and slice them. Somebody prefers let them with their skin.
    Arrange a first layer of eggplants in the colander, sprinkle with coarse salt, cover with a second layer of slices and continue until all eggplants are used up.
    Put a weight on top and let the salt act, about an hour.
    Thanks to osmosis, their bitter taste will be removed. In fact you will be able to see clearly the formation of a yellowish liquid dripping through colander holes.
    Wash each slice under running water and pat dry with paper towels.
    At this point, cut each slice into cubes or chunks.
  • - The frying.
    Heat olive oil or, if you prefer peanut oil, together with garlic. Use a wok or a non-stick frying pan.
    Remove garlic, add eggplant cubes and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
    Just before the end, add oregano and pepper (o chilli).
    Remove eggplant cubes from the oil with a skimming ladle.
    Transfer them on absorbent kitchen paper to reduce fat.
    You can also sprinkle them, when still hot, with very finely chopped parsley. Use Italian parsley.

Just before serving

  • - Serve these eggplants still hot or cold.



  • - Here's another version typical of Naples area - Campania. It involves a cooking in the pan similar to previous recipe but with less olive oil. In short you have to heat oil with garlic, remove it and add eggplant chunks, continue cooking and sprinkle fresh chopped parsley at the last moment, just before turning off the stove. You do not have to transfer eggplants. They are sauteed and not fried.
    You can also add in capers and fresh or pureed tomatoes.
    Serve it cold as antipasto or side dish.
  • - Funghetto eggplants can also be stored in a jar but be careful! Home canning can hide unpleasant surprises related to botulinum toxin for example. So you have to follow reliable recipes with proper dosage of salt and proper sterilization.

Healthy eating

  • - You may have noticed there are no values for calories, total fat ... For the first version it is really difficult to make a reliable calculation as it is always for fried food. In particular for eggplants that, as you know, are true sponges regarding olive oil.
    I will just offer you the values ​​of the second version admitting to use a very limited amount of olive oil: 3 tablespoons!
    energy: 131 kcal (550 kJ)
    protein: 2.5g
    carbo: 6.0g
    sugars: 6.0g
    total fat: 10.9g
    fiber: 6.0g