White Eggplant Parmigiana Without Tomatos Recipe
If you’ve never tried the white version of eggplant parmigiana made without tomato sauce, here is the recipe! If love the traditional red eggplant parmesan you are so going to love this white version too! Watch Foodie Sisters in Italy, Benedetta and Valeria, prepare these slices of fried eggplant layered with mozzarella and parmigiano before being baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
The origins of melanzane alla parmigiana (also known as parmigiana di melanzane) are hotly contested with the southern regions of Italy, in particular Campania and Sicily, each laying claim to the invention of the dish. However, wherever it originated, there is no doubt that these heavenly layers of eggplant oozing with melted mozzarella make a warm hug of a dish; comforting, filling, and delicious.
For our version, we have looked to our favorite Italian food writer, Ada Boni, whose book Il Talismano della Felicità is our go-to bible of traditional recipes. The classic recipe for eggplant parmesan usually features a tomato sauce but this rendition is ‘in bianco’, meaning it is made without tomatoes. Some recipes also call for the eggplant slices to be dipped in flour or breadcrumbs before frying but, in this case, they are simply cooked in abundant vegetable oil before layering.
Nowadays, eggplant is not as bitter as many years ago so there is no need to salt and drain the slices before cooking. However, it is important to choose good, firm, shiny eggplants for the dish. If you want to make a lighter version and cut down on the oil you could also bake or grill the eggplant instead of frying for a similar result.
Melanzane alla Parmigiana ‘in Bianco’
300g mozzarella, sliced
50g parmesan, grated
Vegetable oil, for frying
Peel the eggplant and slice them lengthways. Fry them immediately in hot vegetable oil until golden, then drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. You will need to do this in batches.
Butter a baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of eggplant slices. Top with slices of mozzarella, a few flecks of butter and a generous amount of grated parmesan. Continue compiling the dish in the same way until you finish with a layer of eggplant. Cover the top with the remainder of the parmesan and a few more pieces of butter.
Bake in a hot oven for about 15 minutes until the flavors have fused, the cheese is bubbling, and the top is crisp.