Mac’ n’ Cheese? No..Please! – Pasta alla Parmigiana

Hey food lovers!!!! :D
This pasta looks tasty, doesn’t it?? And soon you can learn how to cook it too!! In fact, I’m proud to introduce you a new column on Peeking into Italy dedicated to Italian cuisine, the authentic one, in collaboration with Vittorio Caselli from the cooking blog He is a very nice Italian guy so I’m sure you will enjoy following him with his delicious and original Italian recipes!
Without losing any more time, I hand over to Vittorio, who will explain to you everything!

Hi everyone! (I didn’t know how to start but I guess it’s a classic!). My name is Vittorio Caselli and I really love cooking. I’m 20 years old, I study psychology (or psychology studies me, I’m not sure yet) in Naples but since I’ve started my blog I’m trying to learn everything possible about cooking. I’ve “known” Michela a few days ago and she offered me a food-column in her blog. I accepted immediately, despite the anxiety for “teaching” something. The subject was clear to me: Italian recipes, in all their splendor.

I wanna enjoy this column with you, that’s why I’ve started with an ironical (I hope) title. I’ve called this column “Mac’ n’ Cheese? No..Please!”. Why? Because I watch a lot of tv-programs about food and I’ve realized that too much of these misunderstand Italian cooking. Not “misunderstand”, actually, but “take advantage of it”! There are a lot of chefs that pass off their bungles as italian recipes. Buddy Valastro, just for example, use his origins for a better reputation but his recipes are not italian! They’re probably very very good (‘cause they’re very very fatty) but why does he need to call them “Italian”? Tv-programs are not the only problem: foreign restaurants have always dishes like “Fettuccine Alfredo” or “Mac’n’Cheese”. Same story: they’re good but they are not Italian recipes… We barely know them!

I hope that with this column I will bring a little bit of REAL-Italian-cooking in you kitchens. I’m not a teacher, I don’t wanna instruct anyone. I’m just a guy that loves both cooking and Italian recipes (also foreign cuisine.. I simply wanna eat!). So be active, make your questions! Ask me whatever you want, tell me all your advice and correct me when I need to be corrected. I’m here for you and I want to be useful.

I want to start this column with a recipe that I LOVE. It’s not a classic one but it bonds two of my passions (and Italian masterpieces): pasta and eggplant parmigiana (parmesan). That’s why I will give you the recipe for a “Pasta alla Parmigiana”, of course! It’s a quite simple Neapolitan dish but you have to cuddle ingredients and let they love each other (that’s what cooking is for me..).

P.S. I feel more comfortable with grams, millilitres etc. but feel free to tell us if you would like to have recipes converted into cups, tbsp etc. We will do our best!

“Pasta alla Parmigiana” recipe


Prep time: 5 min          Cook time: 35 min           Ready in: 40 min


  • 500 g Aubergines
  • 600 ml Pureed tomatoes (passata)
  • 160 g Mezze maniche (or another kind of short pasta)
  • 150 g Mozzarella *
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh Basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cook the passata with oil and a pinch of salt in a small pot at medium-low heat about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash and slice aubergines in rounds about 1 cm thick. Roast them, both sides, and put them in a plate.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it and cook the pasta very al dente. Drain it and toss it with the sauce (but keep some passata for the topping); add grated parmesan and black pepper.
  4. Take a baking dish and fill it with (in order): aubergines, pasta, mozzarella, chopped basil and grated parmesan. Make as many layers as you can, until ingredients are finished. Add the passata on the top to complete the casserole.
  5. Bake until mozzarella start to melt.


* A fresh mozzarella will make your pasta watery. Use a 2/3 days-old one or just slice it and drain the pieces in a colander.

Do you like it? I hope so! The flavor is sooo good..

As I told you before, I have a food blog where you can find this recipe and much more; I called it “Noodloves” (noodles+love). I would really appreciate if you would visit it and comment what impress you more. It’s an italian blog, unfortunately, but I’ve added a useful tool in the sidebar that will make the visit more comfortable to you. It will translate automatically every word in the page but the translation won’t be always accurate. For this reason I’ve also created some pages for English speakers and I’m going to translate every recipe manually. Meanwhile feel free to ask everything you need and to comment in your language, I care about your opinions! Otherwise, keep following this column and I will publish 1-2 recipes at months for you.

Here are some useful links:

All right! I have finally finished to talk (write, actually). I guess you are relieved now! LOL See you at next recipe, byee ;)




4 thoughts on “Mac’ n’ Cheese? No..Please! – Pasta alla Parmigiana

  1. Pingback: Mac' n' Cheese? No...please! My food column - Noodloves

  2. Reblogged this on Molto! Molto! and commented:
    I made this recipe for pasta alla parmigiana, and it was delicious. I came across this blog post at the perfect time – when we had decided we should stop searching for all the spices and fresh coriander to continue making our favourites from home, and start taking full advantage of the well-stoked mozzarella and ricotta cheese aisle while we have access to it. It took a lot of pots and pans, including a cake tin (as our only suitable oven dish). Which we then pretended not to notice piled high in the sink, until our impending weekend mini-break resulted in a last minute speed wash. One day we might learn.

  3. Pingback: Mac’ n’ Cheese? No..Please! – Baccalà mantecato with potatoes and crisp vegetables | Peeking into Italy

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