Parmigiana (US: //, UK: //; Italian: [parmiˈdʒaːna]; also parmigiana di melanzane [parmiˈdʒaːna di melanˈdzaːne; -ˈtsa-], or melanzane alla parmigiana [melanˈdzaːne alla parmiˈdʒaːna; -ˈtsa-] or shortened as Parma, in Australian English called eggplant parmesan) is an Italian dish made with a shallow or deep-fried sliced eggplant (also called aubergine) filling, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked. Parmigiana made with a filling of eggplant is the earliest and still unique Italian version. The origin of the dish is claimed by both the Southern regions of Campania and Sicily. Other variations found outside Italy may include chicken, veal, or another type of meat cutlet or vegetable filling.
The dish consists of sliced eggplant, pan fried in oil, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in an oven. In some versions, the sliced filling is first dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in flour or breadcrumbs before frying. Some recipes use hard grated cheeses such as Parmigiano, while others use softer melting cheeses like mozzarella, or a combination of these.
In the United States and Canada, veal parmigiana or chicken parmigiana is often served as a main course, and sometimes is served as a submarine sandwich. It is also popular with a side of or on top of pasta. Diced onions or green bell peppers, sauteed or raw, are sometimes added. A similar veal dish is known in Italian as Cotolette alla Bolognese., however, traditional Italian recipes exclude tomato sauce from the dish. Costelette Parmigiana is another related veal dish, however, in Italy it is generally served without sauce or cheese.
Veal or chicken parmigiana is a common dish in Australia and Argentina and in both countries often served with a side of chips or salad. In Australia, it may also contain a variety of toppings, including sliced ham or fried eggplant (aubergine) slices.
In Argentina and in other neighboring South American countries, veal or chicken parmigiana is topped with ham and served with french fries. It is known as milanesa a la napolitana. If the dish is topped with a fried egg, then it is known as a súper milanesa or suprema napolitana. The origin of the dish was the Napoli restaurant in Buenos Aires during the 1940s. (See also Milanesa napolitana (in Spanish).)
A similar dish, the parmo, which uses either pork or chicken, has developed in England.
In Brazil, Parmigiana is a popular restaurant dish, which was brought over by Italian immigrants. There are three kinds of Parmigiana in Brazil: filé de frango a parmigiana (chicken fillet parmigiana), berinjela a parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana) and meat parmigiana. Three types of beef are used to make meat parmigiana: two prime cuts, yielding, respectively, filé mignon à parmigiana (tenderloin parmigiana) and contra-filé à parmigiana (sirloin steak parmigiana), while the third type, yielding bife à parmigiana, is simply beef of an unspecified cut. In Brazil, Parmigiana dishes are usually served with either white rice and french fries or with pasta in a tomato sauce.