During the Spring 2012 I taught one of many interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. Each class is based on the preparation of a simple delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture.
Videography by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Click here to watch the videos in full resolution.
Buon divertimento!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Melanzane alla parmigiana

For the videos of this class click here.

This is a light version; in the classic recipe the eggplants are deep fried (alone or dipped in egg and covered with bread crumbs).

Ingredienti per 4-6 persone

-2 large melanzane (eggplants)
-1 spicchio d'aglio (garlic clove)
-1 L di passata di pomodoro (plain strain tomatoes, we used 1.5 box of Pomì)
-parmigiano grattuggiato (grated, about 100 g, but decide by eye and taste)
-mozzarella grattuggiato (grated) or a fette (in slices), about 1 cup
-basilico fresco (fresh basil, a few leaves)
- sale
- zucchero (sugar)
- spices of your choice (e.g. red crushed pepper, nutmeg)


- wash the eggplants and cut them max 1 centimeter thick.
- let the the eggplant slices sit in a colander covered with abundant coarse salt. You can make many layers of eggplant and salt: this procedure remove the bitterness from the melanzane.
- after 30 minutes drain, rinse very well and pat try with paper towel
- grill the eggplant slices at 400 F for about 10 minutes (or more, based on the thickness). Alternatively, grill them in a non stick pan without oil on the stove or on the bbq.
- in the meantime prepare a tomato sauce with a soffritto of garlic (read the post on February 11th for directions)
- cover the bottom of a baking dish with the tomato sauce
- place a layer of eggplant over the sauce
- sprinkle with grated mozzarella, grated parmisan and basil leaves (as a whole or minced, as you wish)
- repeat to make 3-4 layers ending with sauce
- top with the remaining mozzarella and parmigiano
- bake at 400 F for about 30 minutes.

Le melanzane alle parmigiana are delicious eaten immediately and the day after are even meglio (better). Prova (try!)

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