Melanzane alla Parmigiana
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Campania, Sicily or Parma|
|Main ingredient(s)||Eggplant or breaded meat, cheese, tomato sauce|
Parmigiana, parmigiana di melanzane, or melanzane alla parmigiana is an Italian dish made with a shallow or deep-fried sliced filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of eggplant (also called aubergine) is the earliest version. Other variations may include chicken, veal, or another type of meat cutlet or vegetable filling. The origin of the dish is unclear; it is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily, and by the Northern province of Parma.
The dish consists of a sliced filling pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in an oven. In some versions, the sliced filling is first dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. Some recipes use hard grated cheeses such as Parmesan, while others use softer melting cheeses like mozzarella, or a combination of these.
Variations made with breaded meat cutlets, such as veal and chicken, have been popularized in other countries, usually in areas of Italian immigration, and occasionally other vegetables such as zucchini may be used in Italy.
In the United States and Canada, veal parmigiana or chicken parmigiana is often served as an entree, and sometimes is served as a submarine sandwich. It is also popular with a side of or on top of pasta. Diced onions or green bell peppers, sauteed or raw, are sometimes added. The veal dish is known in Italian as Cotolette alla Bolognese.
Veal or chicken parmigiana is a common dish in Australia and Argentina and in both countries often served with a side of chips or salad. In Australia, it may also contain a variety of toppings, including sliced ham or fried eggplant (aubergine) slices. This dish is often referred to as a parmy or parma.
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