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.
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.