Most of you may be familiar with Eggplant Parmigiana, however the word “Parmigiana” refers to a cooking technique rather than to specific recipe, thus making it possible to deploy with different ingredients. The essentials are Tomato sauce and a Parmigiano Reggiano, the rest may vary.
What I am presenting today is a “parmigiana” made with Zucchini instead of Eggplant. The main ingredient changes but the procedure stays “almost” the same. If you had to stick to very traditional recipe, the vegetable shoud be fried, but I don’t like to fry that much thus I grilled my zucchini instead. Here below is the recipe, easy and very tasty.
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 small onion
- olive oil
- 5 big zucchini
- a bunch of fresh basil
- 100 grams of grated Parigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano
Note that for the success of this recipe you only have to use “Parmigiano Reggiano” or “Grana Padano”. Do not use any sort of parmesan cheese. If you can’t find it at the stores near you, be aware that the final result will taste a lot different and not as tasty as it should be…or you may simply book your nest trip to Italy and ask for it at a restaurant.
First of all you have to prepare the tomato sauce: peel the onion and chop it into very small pieces (I do use the half-moon knife but you may even use the food processors by turning it off before getting mash onion). Take a small pot, preferably with a handle, pour the chopped onion in it, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and bring it to the fire at high level. When the onion starts turning brown, pour in the pot a full can of tomato sauce (approximately 300 ml), add a small glass of water, and a pinch of salt, turn the fire down at minimum level and let it cook for approximately 30/40 minutes. The final result shouldn’t be too thick neither too liquid.
Now wash carefully your Zucchini, remove the two ends, take a wooden or plastic cutting board and with a big knife cut the Zucchini for the lenght (don’t cut them into circles or it will take you forever to grill them). Once all the zucchini are cut into long slices take a grill, bring it to the fire at high level, wait until it’s very hot and then start grilling your zucchini (3/4 at the same time depending on the size of your grill). It is important here to avoid burning the zucchini, they must be lightly brown and non-crispy.
Now take the grated Parmigiano Reggiano out of the fridge and prepare your working space: you will need all the ingredients and a baking tray with high edges. Place the baking tray in fron of you, take the grilled zucchini one by one and make a layer at the bottom of the tray (try to cover the whole surface). Take 3 to 4 spoonfuls of tomato sauce and cover the zucchini. Now take a generous handful of Parmigiano Reggiano and cover the tomato sauce with it, then add 2/3 basil leaves.
Repeat the operation 3 to 4 times (the number of layers depends on the size of your zucchini, mine were medium thus I managed to make 4 layers but sometimes I make even 5 if the zucchini are big enough).
Over the final layer pour a very generous handful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: once baked it will get a little crispy addig flavour to the overall plate. Put the tray in the oven (pre heated) at 180 Celsius degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The final result should look like this:
A tray like mine serves 4 to 6 people depending on your appetite. If you get some leftovers, put them in the fridge overnight and heat them the next day, it’s even tastier!!!!
I do like my Parmigiana “warm” not hot, although some Italians do like to have it at room temperature.