Cooking with Mom: Parmigiana Leccese

This is going to be my last recipe from Italy. I’m heading back to China next week…

Despite all my concerns about coming back home I can say now it was a great idea. I had lots of fun with my friends, I spent some quality time with my family, I relaxed hanging at the beach eating ice cream and getting tan, I went shopping with my mom and got a fantastic Moschino dress and a couple of Ferre’ ones. I really didn’t have much “free time” to get depressed and think about my ex. Instead I did a lot of thinking on myself and my future. For the very first time after many many years me, myself, was my main concern. I got back in touch with my needs, my dreams and what is good for me and not someone else. It felt good!

Now I’m ready to go back to Shanghai and focus on all my projects: my job, my “private” website idea (that I will share with you soon), my cooking and my blog, my pole. Im also going to start taking ballet classes again and Im going to start learning Spanish…Also in about 2 months I’ll be heading back home again, 2 of my best friends are getting married at the end of October and I would never miss their wedding. NEVER!

So over all I feel ok, much better than 3 weeks ago so I’m confident in a new good start!

Today to celebrate my good mood, to thank my family and friends for their support, to say goodbye to my lovely hometown Lecce, I’m going to share with you this dish I made with my mom last week. It is an other typical recipe from where I live – Lecce .

I’ve got to warn you tho: this is not a fat-free, low calorie dish but…it’s divinely GOOD!

Give this a try.

Ingredients (serves 8):

For the eggplants

  • 2 kg of eggplants
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 cups flour

For the meatballs

  • 400 g ground beef
  • 400 g ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 6 slices of bread (soaked in water and squeezed)

Other ingredients

  • 400 g tomato sauce
  • 500 g mozzarella cheese (1 day old)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 100 g mortadella

I’ve got some missing shots, so bear with me today. I’ll try to be as clear as I can for you to understand the process.

Let’s start preparing the meatballs. In a bowl combine the ground beef and pork, the bread, parmesan cheese, salt and chopped parsley. Mix all the ingredients together

Using your hands with the meat mixture create very small balls, as big as a your thumb nail

pretty much this small

Fry them up until cooked and crispy (missing shot)

Mix the meatballs with a few tbsp of tomato sauce

Next up prepare the eggplants – I’ve got no pics for this.

Basically what you have to do is slicing the eggplants, coat them in flour, then beat up the eggs with a pinch of salt and coat each slice of eggplant into the eggs, then fry them up in hot oil.

Get all the other ingredients ready:

the tomato sauce

the parmesan cheese

the mortadella


and the sliced mozzarella cheese (remember to use mozzarella from the previous day and not fresh one as that would have too much milk)

In a casserole pan pour a few tbsp of tomato sauce

place a layer of eggplants so to cover the whole bottom of the pan

generously sprinkle some parmesan cheese

drop half of the fried meatballs

more tomato sauce

half of the mortadella bologna

and half of the sliced mozzarella cheese

add a few more tbsp of tomato sauce

then cover with another layer of fried eggplants

Repeat as above then cover with a last layer of eggplants and tomato sauce

Bake at 180 C for about 30-40 min

Remove from the oven and let it cool down.

When ready to serve, cut it up and bring it to the dining table!

Make this! Because it’s the right thing to do!

And eat it in moderation…your jeans will be grateful!


– LittleDani

This recipe has been included in the collection “A taste of my country” (March 2016)




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About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my ‘left-overs’ session for many tasty grub!

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2 comments on “Cooking with Mom: Parmigiana Leccese

  1. What a flashback!
    My grandmother make it he same way (with ham-prosciutto- instead of mortadella)… It passed too much time since I ate it last time! Yuhm yuhm!!

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