I see you rolling your eyes over there. “Kate, all eggplant Parmesans are Italian!” Let me clarify. In Italy, true eggplant Parmesan (Melanzane alla Parmigiana) is breading-free. Apparently, we Americans decided to coat our eggplant in egg wash and breading.
Another shocker? Italians don’t pour any cream into their fettuccine Alfredo! Let’s now turn to give a collective eye roll at Olive Garden.
The eggplant Parmesans I’ve ordered over the years at restaurants have varied considerably, but I’ve grown to expect heavy, greasy, breaded eggplant served with marinara and standard-issue spaghetti. I usually walk out with a stomachache and a side of regret.
Then I ordered the eggplant Parmesan at a local restaurant here in Kansas City called Ragazza, which gave me hope for eggplant Parm. Their eggplant Parmesan comes in a cute little cast iron skillet, with layers of eggplant cut lengthwise and sliced like lasagna. It includes lightly breaded eggplant, but it isn’t overtly greasy, and the marinara sauce tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove for hours.