Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Apulian eggplant parmigiana
( Parmigiana di melanzane pugliese)

Authentic recipe from Puglia

This eggplant parmigiana from Puglia is different from the Neapolitan version because eggplant slices are breaded before frying them. Besides fiordilatte cheese is replaced by more common mozzarella. You may also add fresh crumbled sausage or chopped mortadella. Make the comparison with Sicilian parmigiana too. And then, if you look for a lighter recipe, not fried, see my own version. All links to the mentioned recipes below!

difficulty: medium

time: 1 hour 50 minutes

calories: (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 800g (1 3/4 pounds) long-shaped purple eggplants
  • 750ml (1.6 pints) pureed tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounces) crumbled sausage
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) mozzarella cheese
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Salt
medium difficulty
preparation: 40 minutes
cooking: 70 minutes
total time: 1 hour 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 (137 download).

Recipe for eggplant parmigiana from Puglia

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean, wash and cut eggplants into 1/2cm (1/5in) thick slices.
    Salt and place all slices in a colander. Put a weight on top. Let them there to eliminate bitterness from their flesh, at least 30 minutes.
  • - Meanwhile prepare tomato sauce.
    Place garlic, sausage and olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
    Let all fry slightly on very low heat, stirring now and then. Be careful not to brown garlic.
    Remove garlic clove and add pureed tomatoes.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper, if liked.
    Add a ladleful boiling water or vegetable broth.
    Continue cooking, always on low heat, other 15 minutes.
  • - Wash eggplant slices under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
  • - Prepare some all-purpose flour in a plate.
    Beat eggs with a pinch of salt.
    Dip every eggplant slice into beaten eggs and then into flour.
    If you are about to use up your eggs, dilute them with a little milk.
  • - Heat peanut oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok.
    Fry your breaded eggplant slices, few at a time, until golden on both sides.
  • - Remove them from the frying pan with a skimming ladle.
    Place them on a tray, lined with absorbent kitchen paper.
    I suggest to use more trays. Avoid more layers in this case.
  • - Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • - Grate mozzarella cheese with a large-hole grater.
  • - Prepare a deep baking pan.
    Only time and experience will teach you what is the most suitable to your needs.
    Begin with a little baking pan. More layers are better than few.
  • - Distribute a little ladle of tomato sauce on the bottom.
    Place eggplant slices, next to one another, slightly overlapping.
    Sprinkle every layers with some tablespoons tomato sauce, grated mozzarella and Parmesan.
    Continue alternating eggplants slices and other ingredients.
    Complete your layers with a lot of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
  • - Bake until the surface is golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Just before serving

  • - Let cool before serving Apulian parmigiana.
    Generally, I prepare it in advance and warm it up before serving but it is good even cold.



  • - Eggplant parmigiana is the typical dish for a holiday day because it is a long to do and elaborated recipe but it is worth it!
  • - My husband and I dedicated a whole page to the different versions of this eggplant dish and its story. Link below!
  • - Prefer long-shaped purple eggplants for this dish because they have few seeds in their flesh. In Italy all chefs know that the best season to make this traditional dish finishes by mid-August but I do not know if it is the same outside Italy.
    To remove their bitterness you can also dip them in cold salt water after slicing.
  • - There are a lot of variants you can make. Fo example, to replace sausage with mortadella.
    To use zucchini instead of eggplants.
    To add onion to tomato sauce and chopped chives to beaten eggs.
    To use ripe but firm tomatoes for your sauce instead of a canned product (at least 1.5kg - 3.3 pounds).
    To use more fresh sausage but obviously calories and fat increase and this dish is already rich in calories and fat ;))

Menu planning

  • - When and how to serve Apulian eggplant parmigiana? It can not be included routinely in your daily menu for a lot of reasons that I think clear to you. I've always seen it on the tables during the holidays, especially in August. It can be served in small portions as an appetizer or, even better, in meals, buffet-style. So everyone can serve himself according to his own appetite.
    There are still some Italians who have the habits of the past and prepare it to be eaten on the beach but they are less and less!
  • - The suggested portions only apply to one-plate meal in the family menu. On festive occasions, served together with other dishes, they are enough for more people.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - Note. There are no values ​​for calories, fat and protein of Apulian eggplant parmigiana because it is really difficult to make an accurate calculation. When you read the nutrition facts of fried food, you have to know that, generally, these data derive from the real values of most ingredients to which about 100 to 150 calories are added per every 100 grams of fried product. But the eggplant absorb much more oil and every cook really knows it perfectly. So the standard value in this case is unreliable.
    In any case, I calculated energy, protein, fat and carbo for the most ingredients but without frying. You can read them below.
    For this reason parmigiana can not be a plate to be choosen often in the family menus, also considering the fact that frying should be done in moderation.
    The conclusion? enjoy a good portion during a very special occasion. Once in a while you can do it.
    Anyway, here are eggplant Parmesan nutrition values without the ingredients necessary for frying.
    Energy: 369 kcal 1542 kJ
    Protein: 22.9g
    Total fat: 26.3g
    Carbo: 10.7g
    Sugars: 10.7g
    These data are related to only 50g (1 3/4 ounces) of sausage. But I know people that use 200g (7 ounces) of fresh sausage. In this case ...
    Energy: 460 kcal 1925 kJ
    Protein: 28.7g
    Total fat: 33.8g
    Carbo: 10.9g
    Sugars: 10.9g
  • - Fiber per serving: 7.6g (recommended daily intake is 30g)


What's the right wine for " Apulian eggplant parmigiana "?

My husband and I suggest to pair Copertino (rosé wine from Apulia9 or another rosé wine to this eggplant dish!