I was visiting my sister and my mum up in Scotland the weekend just gone. To my joy they had remembered that I am vegetarian and bought me a couple of aubergines. I had a quick look in the fridge to see what I could make and flicked through one of my sister’s cookbooks, River Cottage Veg everyday, which came up with Aubergine Parmigiana.
My mum and I worked together to make this dish and it was heart warming on a rainy day and relatively simple to make though i am tempted to add some spices next time around…
Double the ingredients to serve six people…
- 2 medium aubergines
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 balls of buffalo mozarella, torn into pieces
- 17g parmesan or other hard cheese finely grated
For the tomato sauce
1 table spoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- a pinch of sugar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the aubergines and slice lengthways into 3- 5mm thick slices. Layer the slices in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt and leave to draw the juices out for an hour or so.
Meanwhile make the tomato sauce by heating the oil in a large wide pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and fry gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the bay leaf. Bring to summer, then simmer briskly, stirring often, for about 30 mins until the sauce is rich and thick. Season well with salt and pepper and a little sugar to taste.
Quickly rinse the aubergine slices and pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat a large frying pan over medium fire and add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is hot, fry a batch of the aubergines for 2 mins on each side, until golden and tender. Remove and set aside, add more oil and repeat until all the aubergines are used up.
Preheat the oven to 180C and lay a third of the aubergine slices over the bottom of an oven proof dish (greasing it before hand) – dish needs to be about 5cm deep and 25 x 20cm wide. Cover the aubergine’s with a third of your tomato sauce and drop mozarella pieces on top, scattering a thin layer of grated cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients – this version makes two layers.
Bake for 30 – 40 mins, until bubbling and golden on top. Serve with fresh green salad and bread if you like.