Recipe courtesy Vito Gnazzo, executive chef, Il Gattopardo, New York City

Layers of smoked mozzarella folded into zucchini and topped with tomato sauce—now that’s a parmigiana recipe for success. We tapped Vito Gnazzo, executive chef of New York City’s Neapolitan restaurant Il Gattopardo, to find out what goes into making this masterfully simple Southern Italian dish, plus learn how to pair it with the perfect vino.

  • 8 small green zucchini
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 1 ounce milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces smoked mozzarella di bufala, chopped
  • 2 ounces grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 ounce extra-virgin olive oil 

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise (or however you prefer) and season with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, flour and milk. Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium-high. Dip the zucchini into the mixture and then in the sauté to fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.

Once fried, lay the zucchini on a kitchen towel to dry. In a serving terrine, add enough tomato sauce to coat the bottom and place the zucchini wedges down side by side. Add the tomato sauce, chopped mozzarella, parmigiano, basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat for another layer. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F and serve hot. Serves 4.

Pair It

The richness of this dish pairs wonderfully with a white from Campania, like Terre del Principe’s 2012 Le Sèrole Pallagrello. The wine’s smooth notes of spice, toasted almonds and vanilla stand up to the acidity in the sauce and nicely compliment the creaminess of the cheese.

Published on January 8, 2016
About the Author
Marina Vataj
Digital Content Director

Vataj has written about wine and food, among other topics, for various publications for more than a decade, including The New York Post and Life & Style. At W.E., she manages all digital editorial content, including video and podcast production. She’s also an adjunct professor at a college in NY, where she teaches journalism. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a Level 3 Advanced Wine & Spirits Education Trust certification from the International Wine Center.


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