Mentoring with a difference: How to make Parmigiana di melanzane

For people who are staying more than half a year in Italy (like us), it is impossible to leave the country and go home without knowing a typical Italian, excuse me, Neapolitan recipe – Parmigiana di melanzane. Mina and Alba, our mentors, came up with the idea to conquer the kitchen together in a different mentoring lesson.

To cook within and for a large group, an Italian custom, had been the first time for some of us when we started living together in our group of volunteers. Now, under the supervision and with the help of our energetic mentors we got to know a new way of cooking together. Because in the end it is written: everybody can cook!

Parmigiana is a typical Neapolitan dish, like a casserole out of aubergines, cheese and tomato sauce. The plate used to be for the poor. In the past, people had aubergines and tomatoes growing in their gardens. For this dish it was not necessary to buy pasta, meat or anything expensive. Getting the cheese was also easy, they simply used what they already had at home. About 20 years ago, it wasn’t possible to find Parmigiana on a restaurant menu. Nowadays, you can find it more or less everywhere between all the other Italian specialities like pizza and pasta.




How to make Parmigiana?


  • Aubergines
  • Onions
  • Cheese (parmesan and mozzarella)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Salt
  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  1. Cut the aubergines and the Mozzarella in long slices.
  2. The aubergine slices have to be dry. Put them for a while under the sun.
  3. Heat a pan with a lot of olive oil and fry the dried aubergine slices until they become golden
  4. To prepare the sauce: cut the onions in small pieces and fry them in a pot until they start to become golden. Add the tomato sauce and cook it for about 30 minutes. Add a bit of salt.
  5. On a baking plate start with putting some of the tomato sauce at first and then a layer of aubergine, then a layer of Mozzarella, add basil and another layer of aubergine. On top comes the tomato sauce again and some of the parmesan. Repeat this step.
  6. The Parmigiana needs to be in the oven for roughly 30 minutes. Voilà – Buon appetito!