Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana
The warming, vegetarian meal I crave the most. Eggplant parmigiana with crunchy breadcrumbs on top, instead of throughout. It just makes more sense to me. Made with my classic tomato sauce which makes everything taste better, roasted eggplant because it's way easier than frying it, and topped in burrata for a very delicious cold contrast.


  • 4 medium eggplants
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for baking the eggplants)
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 x 400g tins whole tomatoes (I like the Mutti brand)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Parmesan rind (if you have one)
  • 2 x 125g fresh mozzarella balls (or close equivalent), halved then thinly sliced (halving it first will make it easier to slice evenly)
  • 150g Parmesan (Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
  • 150g burrata (or you could double and do balls if you're really into cheese)

For the breadcrumbs: 

  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • Salt flakes

Serves 4


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Slice eggplants into 2cm thick rounds and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil (each piece of eggplant should have a little oil on), sprinkle with salt and roast until golden brown (around 20 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. Heat olive oil over low heat in a large pan.
  4. Add garlic and basil leaves and slowly simmer until garlic is very lightly golden (5-10 minutes).
  5. Remove garlic and basil from oil, reserve.
  6. Sauté onion in the oil until softened.
  7. Add back garlic and basil, tinned tomatoes (crush them up in your hand as you add them in), sugar and a Parmesan rind if you have one stashed in the freezer or available in the fridge.
  8. Cook with lid ajar, stirring occasionally, on low for around 45 minutes. It’s ready when the sauce has thickened, and tomatoes have begun to soften and break down into the sauce. Taste and season.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
  10. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce into a baking dish around 23x23x5cm (make sure it will fit a volume of 2.6L, you can test if the dish is large enough by pouring 2.6L water in). Add half your eggplant for the first layer, then spoon over enough tomato sauce to cover. 
  11. Evenly scatter over half your fresh mozzarella, then sprinkle over 50g Parmesan.
  12. Repeat with remaining eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and 100g Parmesan, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling at the sides and golden brown on top (if it’s not brown enough you can turn on the grill until you’re happy with the colour, just don’t walk away while it’s on or it can burn quickly).
  13. Meanwhile, prepare the breadcrumbs. Heat 50g olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and toss through Panko, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and stir through 30g Parmesan, season with salt flakes and set aside.
  14. Set parmigiana aside to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then cover in crispy breadcrumbs and top with burrata, tearing open over the parm to serve.

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