Life in Malta

Roasted Aubergine Parmigiana

When it comes time to cook something tasty, the first thing I have in mind is an aubergine. In Sicilian, we call it “milinciana” and we have plenty of choice of recipes depending on its shape and size.

Sometimes at work, we spend our lunch break together and my colleague had the idea to ask me and our foreigner coworkers if we wished to cook a dish of our country to share among us. I love cooking and instantly replied: <yes, of course!> but I thought, what could I cook at home and bring at work for a stand-up meal?

My mum has almost taught me all I know about cooking. But I rarely cook because as a good Sicilian I enjoy more doing it when there are a lot of people. I practised and improved during my university studies when me and some friends used to prepare a dinner once a month up to 20 people.
I brought at work two trays and nothing left, everybody loved it. To be honest, I spent 5 hours for the whole process because we were 38 people and I wanted to make sure everyone could try it. I had not minded cooking all that time. I much rather enjoyed the hour we chatted about our recipes and relaxed.
The following recipe would be for 4 people as the main course.

Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash and by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

To fill up a medium oven tray what you need is:

1/1.2 Kg= 4/5 aubergines
1 can chopped tomato
370 ml tomato sauce
200 gr chopped mozzarella
60/100 gr grated mix parmesan (60%) and pepato (40%) cheese
1 medium chopped onion (better red or gold)
5/6 tsp breadcrumbs
basil leaves, olive oil, salt

  1. Start peeling the aubergines, then slice them slightly less than 1 cm and grill. TIP: once ready, put the aubergines in a large dish and paint them just a bit with olive oil and salt. So later they will be still soft.
  2. In the meantime, you can chop the onion and in a pot put with some olive oil and heat it. Once the onion will be golden add the tomato (both types) and cover. Sometimes turn the sauce with a spoon. In 20 minutes it will be ready. Then add salt and full basil leaves.
    3.When all ingredients are more or less at room temperature heat the oven at 200C and take cheese and breadcrumbs. Prepare the oven dish (avoid a glass one):
  3. First, fill the dish with a scoop of tomato sauce and spread 1 or 2 spoons of breadcrumbs all over. After spreading homogeneously the aubergines, add some cheese (all types). Put again some tomato sauce and do like that till you will fill it all. TIP: breadcrumbs are useful on top and at the bottom of the dish.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and wait at least 30 min to serve.

Buon appetito!