Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Sicilian Eggplant parmesan
( Parmigiana di melanzane siciliana )

Traditional recipe of Sicily

Eggplant parmesan is called "parmiciana" in Sicily. Parmiciana is the term used in this island to refer to wooden shafts common in shutters. How do you arrange the slices of fried eggplant? Slightly overlapping as the wooden shafts in shutters. Perhaps this could explain the term parmesan ... who knows? Do you want to compare this Sicilian eggplant parmesan to the recipe from Campania or Apulia or to my version with no fried food? Links below!

difficulty: medium

time: 1 h 50 minutes

calories: (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 800g (1 3/4 pound) long-shaped purple eggplants
  • 1kg (2.2 pounds) puréed tomatoes
  • 20g (3/4 ounce) granulated sugar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) grated caciocavallo cheese
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) tuma cheese, cubed
  • 5 eggs
  • Little bunch fresh leaves
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if liked
medium difficulty
preparation: 30 minutes
plus resting time for eggplants
cooking: 80 minutes
total: 1 h 50 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 (121 download).

Sicilian eggplant parmesan recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Begin with eggplant preparation.
    Trim their stem off.
    Wash under cold running water.
    Slice them. Slices must be 1/2 cm thick.
    Place eggplant slices in a colander, layered.
    Remember to salt every slice.
    Cover with a weight, at least 30 minutes.
    This technique helps eggplants to remove their bitter taste.
    I suggest another method too, below in "Tips section"
  • - Meanwhile prepare tomato sauce.
    Place olive oil and garlic in a non-stick frying pan.
    Fry slightly garlic on low heat.
    Remove garlic and pour in pureed tomatoes.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper, if liked, and add sugar too.
    Continue cooking on low heat, stirring now and then, other 15 minutes.
    Wash basil leaves and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
    Once turned off the stove, add some basil leaves, chopped with your hands. Stir.
  • - Boil eggs.
    Pass them under cold water immediately, once cooked.
    Let them cool and shell.
    Slice eggs.
  • - Wash the salt off eggplant slices under running water.
    Pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
  • - Fry eggplant slices.
    Heat peanut oil in a non-stick frying pan or a wok.
    Fry eggplant slices, a few at a time, until golden on both sides.
    Remove eggplant slices with a skimming ladle.
    Place them on a large tray covered with aborbent kitchen paper.
    When the first layer is complete cover with other absorbent paper.
    Keep it up, layer after layer.
    You should remove fat in excess, at least partially.
  • - Preheat oven to 200°C (400°C).
  • - Prepare baking pan with eggplants.
    Spoon a little of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.
    Arrange fried eggplant slices, side by side, but slightly overlapped.
    Sprinkle every layer with tomato sauce, tuma, hard-boiled egg slices, caciocavallo, basil leaves chopped by hands.
    Continue alternating eggplant slices with all other ingredients.
    Finish with abundant tomato sauce. Put some grated caciocavallo apart to sprinkle on the top just before serving.
  • - Bake until parmesan surface is golden, 20 to 30 minutes.

Just before serving

  • - Let your eggplant parmesan rest to get warm. In other words: don't serve it hot!
    It would be better to prepare this eggplant dish some hours ahead and then warm it up slightly before serving.
  • - Remember to sprinkle caciocavallo cheese you've put apart when you remove your baking pan from the oven.



  • - This is a long-to-do, elaborated recipe. I suggest you to do it only if you are very fond of cooking.
  • - Eggplant parmesan is a traditional dish in the south of Italy. People were used to prepare it for picnic or lunch in the beach too. Nowadays light food is preferred and so this eggplant dish is made rarely or in its light versions. Anyway it is a traditional dish for Ferragosto (Assumption day on August 15) for many families.
  • - Choose long-shaped purple eggplant for your parmigiana. They have few seeds. I have to point out they are in season from mid-June to August. Think of it for the best results.
    I can suggest another technique to remove eggplant bitter taste. Slice them and dip in salted cold water for at least an hour!

Menu planning

  • - I don't suggest eggplant parmesan for your family menu. I think it is clear why. Elaborated and long-to-do recipe. High-calorie and high-fat recipe!
  • - Prepare it for your special get-togethers in summer to let your friends be able to taste it according to an authentic Italian recipe. Serve it as antipasto (our Italian starter) in smaller portions. You can serve more than 8 people with these doses.

Useful links for this recipe

  • - Interested in Neapolitan eggplant parmesan or the version from Apulia?
    Or do you prefer my own version without fried eggplants?
  • - Caciocavallo and tuma are typical Sicilian cheeses. Tuma is the first step of pecorino making. It is made without salt and you can replace it with mozzarella or primosale cheese.
    To buy online caciocavallo and other typical Italian cheeses consult these sites: Magna Italia and OIP. My husband and I do not know these shops online because we live in Italy and buy cheese in the market or supermarket. But we can recommend you Eataly that sells good-quality Italian products, really!
  • - Finally, for the most curious about the reasons of the many versions there are in Italy for eggplant parmigiana: eggplant Parmesan story!

Healthy eating

  • - The same considerations I made for Neapolitan eggplant parmesan are also valid for this recipe.
    I could have put figures at random in nutrition facts, especially for calories and fat. A lot of people do so. It's the reason why you can find disparate figures in other websites or kitchen magazines. But it is impossible to calculate how much oil eggplants absorb in frying. Typically you should add an average of 100 to 150 kcal per 100 grams of fried eggplants.
    For this reason, parmigiana (Italian name for eggplant parmesan) can not be considered a dish for your family menu. Besides you have to consider that frying should be done with moderation.
    Moreover, in the case of Sicilian eggplant parmesan there is also a considerably higher value in protein and fat ... a real Everest! Much higher than Neapolitan parmesan. Don't you agree? The conclusion? enjoy it in a special occasion without thinking of fat and calories ... Once in a while ...
    Anyway here are nutrition facts calculated without frying.
    Energy 587 kcal 2458 kJ
    Protein 41.6g
    Total fat 38.2g
    Carbo 20.2g
    Sugars 20.2g
  • - Fiber per serving? similar to Neapoltan eggplant parmesan. Daily intake is 30g.


What's the right wine for " Sicilian Eggplant parmesan "?

My husband and I suggest a good-quality red wine such as Contea di Sclafani Rosso (wine from Sicily) to pair to eggplant parmigiana but we often match Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo (wine from Abruzzi).