Parmigiana di melanzane


My approach to learning Italian has lately become more practical, trying to integrate the words I learn into everyday life in an attempt to retain them better, and one easy way to do this is in the kitchen.
today I was inspired by Lucrezia’s latest video which was a listening exercise comprising a list of ingredients for Parmigiana di melanzane. The ingredients were as follows – 1.5 kg melanzane (aubergines), 1kg pomodori, 100g parmigiana grattugiato,300g mozzarella, un mazzetto di basilico, 1 quarto di cipolla (onion), olio extravergine d’olive, sale, 2 uova and olio di arachide (groundnut oil??) per friggere.
my first challenge was shopping for aubergines. I decided to halve the quantities in the recipe but even so I still needed 3 aubergines. feeling full of hope I visited Tesco Hednesford with two small boys (one of whom was growling loudly all the way round). no aubergines were to be found. in fact the fruit and veg section was half empty, I wondered if some kind of strike was in fact happening. this failure on the part of Tesco to supply basic ingredients led to a further stop at Aldi, with two small boys, the small one still growling, even more loudly than before. Aubergine success! Pollici in su (thumbs up Aldi!) we returned home and then I realised I had a list of ingredienti but no ricetta. I searched for an authentic Italian one, ie in Italian, but the first one I came across involved slicing the melanzane and then layering them with enormous quantities of sale (salt). just watching the video made me thirsty I tell you. feeling a bit harassed at this point, as I was multi-tasking trying to make a separate dinner for the kids, I found a Jamie Oliver recipe and used that instead. his recipe did not involve egg, goodness knows what I was supposed to do with the egg. perhaps I will never know.
I had to look up the meaning of ‘mazzetto’ with regards to basil quantity, and the dictionary supplied ‘bunch’. I didn’t want to completely decimate my basil plant so I used a small handful.
anyhow I was pleased with the end result considering the effort involved. griddling aubergines is very labour intensive!!
I made an important discovery regarding the word ‘cipolla’ which was basically that I have been mispronouncing it wrong for nearly 10 years. Randomly enough it was one of the first words I learned from my Italian friend. FYI it is la ci-POLLA, not the other way round. The pitfalls of teaching a language to yourself are endless. (finally making better progress now I started watching a lot of videos on youtube listening to native speakers, and hearing how the words should be pronounced and how they are used in context!!)

3 thoughts on “Parmigiana di melanzane

  1. jtaylor395 Post author

    Lol actually I don’t think i ever did look up the word ‘arachide’ properly in the end, i still had no idea it was peanuts. goodness knows what i used in the end, probably just olive oil! Will definitely have to remember it now though 🙂 X


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