Epiphany Recipes: Baked Aubergines, Braided Pizza, Fried Chips and Folded Pizza Crescent

Epiphany takes away all the festivities. Epiphany is celebrated in Italy on January 6 every year. This holiday is based on the story of the three wise men (or kings) offering Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Epiphany feast, known as La Befana, is an important part of the Christmas festivities in Italy. La Befana originates from a fairytale about a woman who flies on a broomstick bringing presents to children in Italy. La Befana is believed to be searching for baby Jesus, hence why she bears gifts for children. Many cities and towns in Italy organize festivities and parades to celebrate Epiphany on January 6.

This is not an irish festivity but in the name of italian tradition, I will prepare some recipes that you can recreate easily at home. 

There are 4 recipes in this post:

  1. Baked Aubergines as main course
  2.  Braided pizza as starter
  3.  Fried chips as side – the technique of fries aubergine is explained here. 
  4.  Folded and stuffed pizza as second course.

Panzerotto filled with aubergines and mozzarella cheese

 Brained pizza filled with aubergines, ham, cheese and tomatoes sauce

  • The first recipe is a classic italian recipe: baked aubergines.


  • 2 large aubergines 
  • tomatoes sauce
  • mozzarella cheese 3 x 125 g
  • parmesan cheese 100 g
  • oil
  • basil leaves

Preparation of aubergines: 

  • Slice the aubergines-round slice. 
  • Tip: There are two basic cuts – rounds, which are great for almost every dish, and planks. Round slices are the most basic cut. They’re great for grilling, broiling, and traditional dishes like eggplant parmesan. Remember that eggplant loses moisture and shrinks when cooked. To compensate, cut the raw eggplant into pieces about twice as large as you want the cooked pieces to be.

slices of  aubergines

  • Add some oil to a non-stick frying pan pan, when the oil is hot, add your slices of aubergines and fry them.
  • Tip: It’s important to get the aubergine as tender as possible.

fry the slices of aubergines

  • Aubergines are ready when they are golden and soft. 

fried aubergines are tender

  • keep frying until there aren’t any slices of aubergines left.

fried aubergines on a paper kitchen

  • Tip: use a kitchen tissue to absorb the fried oil.
  • tut the eggplant aside for later.

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

  • onions  1
  • carrots 1
  • stalks of celery  2
  • vegetable stock  1
  • extra virgin olive of oil

Preparation of the tomato sauce: 

  • Wash and cut all the vegetables.
  • Prepare the vegetables accordingly by rinsing, peeling, removing kernels, discarding roots etc.
  •  Place one vegetable on the cutting board. With your non-dominant hand, hold the vegetable firmly in place with the surface of your nails pointing toward and parallel to the blade.
  • Ensure that your nails are closer to the blade than the skin of your fingers.
  •  With your cutting hand, firmly grasp the knife at the handle keeping your index finger and thumb at either side of the upper part of the blade or your index finger on top of the blade in order to ensure stability.
  • Make sure your fingers cannot slide under the blade. Look at the knife from above focusing your vision on neither side of the knife, but rather on the back of the blade. 
  • Move the knife to the right side of the vegetable, keeping it parallel to your nails. Move the knife to the right side of the vegetable, keeping it parallel to your nails. 
  • Start cutting in mid air by thrusting the handle down, keeping the upper edge of the blade steadily attached to the cutting board. Do not move your knife in any other direction other than around the axis of the upper blade.
  • The motion should look similar to that of a paper cutter, although for greater speeds the upper edge of the blade may slide back and forth along the cutting board. With your non-dominant hand, move the vegetable toward the knife. 
  • Carefully synchronize the raising of the knife with the approach of the vegetable from the left. Cut straight and try to be consistent when sizing the vegetable. When finished with one vegetable, repeat the process for the next vegetable.
  • Cover the ingredients with water, boil until tender.

vegetables for tomato sauce

  • Use a mixer to puree the vegetables. The mixture is called vegetable pure’.
  • Then pour into the same medium pot the tomato sauce and a vegetable stock.
  • Let all the ingredients cook slowly to medium-low heating for an hour.
  • At the end, add a spoon of oil. The tomato sauce is ready when the sauce pulls well.
  • Tip: you can change the quantity of the carrots, celery and onion, if it suits you.  

tomato sauce ready for melanzane alla parmigiana

  •  Tip: Make a lot of tomato sauce because you will use the tomato sauce to prepare both melanzane alla parmigiana, the braided pizza and the mini stuffed, folded pizza.
  • In the meanwhile, you can start preparing the filling for brained and folded pizza. Here, you will use the 3rd aubergine left. 

Ingredient  for 2 filling:

  • 1 aubergine 
  • oil

Preparation of cubes aubergines: 

  • Cut the aubergine into cubes. 
  • Tip: how to cut an aubergine into cubes? Cut the aubergine in half or thirds lengthwise, depending on the size of the eggplant and how large you want the cubes to be. Cut each half or third lengthwise again into halves or thirds. Now just line up the spears up and cut them crosswise into cubes.
  • Tip: Cubed aubergine is a good cut for any dish cooked on top of the stove, like stews, ragouts, and stir-frys. Remember that the cubes will lose moisture and size when cooked. To compensate, make the raw cubes about twice as big as you want the cooked cubes to be.
  • Fry the cubed aubergine until tender, dry the aubergine using the kitchen towels ( you have to absorbe the oil) 

cube of aubergines to use for braided pizza

Tip: Set the cubed aubergine aside. You will use later to prepare the fried and stuffed calzone.

The technique of baked aubergines is explained here and summarised below. 

  • Pour 4 spoonfuls of tomato sauce into an ovenproof dish.
  • Cover with the aubergines and then add slices of mozzarella cheese,
  • Keep doing it until there aren’t any aubergines left. Remember to end with a thin layer of sauce (you’ll have roughly 3-4 layers of melanzane alla parmigiana. 
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden.
  • Add aubergine and some parmesan cheese.
  • You must end the dish with a thin layer of sauce
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Baked aubergines ready to be cooked in the oven

Ingredients for Braided Pizza: 

Ingredients for the filling of braided pizza 

  • tomato sauce, that we prepared in this post. 
  • ham
  • mozzarella
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame seeds (to taste)
  • cubes of aubergines 3/4


  • Divide the dough in 3 parts. Set one aside for the mini calzone.
  • Use the other 2 for this recipe. Now, roll the dough out. 
  • Set aside two tablespoons of tomato sauce for the filling. 

dough for pizza

  • cut the “wings” side with “regular” strips.

regural strips for pizza

  • Add the ingredients for the filling : cubed aubergines, tomato sauce, ham and mozzarella cheese.

Add the filling to the calzone

  • Now intertwined a strip at a time towards the center. It ‘s easier to do than to explain.
  • Good seal the two ends of the braid with little soiled with tomato sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if you like). 

braided pizza closed

  • Bake at 200 ° C for about half an hour in a preheated oven.
  • Cooked when brown and golden.

cooked braided pizza

Now the last recipe: Folded Pizza Crescent. 

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1/4 cubed aubergines
  • ham and mozzarella cheese
  • oregano to taste 

Preparation of folded pizza :

  • Roll the pizza dough left out and fill it with ham, cheese and 1/4 cubed aubergines.
  • Close the dough very well

folded calzone with aubergines and cheese

  • Brush the pizza with oregano mixed to a tbs of oil and fry it.
  • It is ready when it is golden and inflated.
  • Tip: you can eat the parmigiana hot or cold. Baked Aubergines tastes amazing the following day.
  • All the dishes are ready. Serve them in the other that suits you more. 

baked aubergines are cooked

folded pizza and chips served with Guinness

Hope you will like these Recipes as much I did.

Happy Epiphany by Ale Simple Recipes

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