Melanzane alla Parmigiana – Aubergine

Aubergine parmigiana is a delicious Italian dish full of flavour and relatively simple to make.  It can be served as a starter or main. Best served hot.

Serves 4. Total cook time 1 hour 25 mins.

A handful of fresh basil (chopped)
1 clove of garlic
100g of parmesan cheese
1 small red onion
100g of pecorino cheese
4 large aubergines
200g of mozzarella
1 litre of passata

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
2. Start by making the tomato sauce: Cut the onion and garlic into small pieces and fry in 4 tablespoons of olive oil until browned. Add the passata and cook through until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and the chopped basil leaves, turn off the heat and leave aside.
3. Next, move onto the aubergines. Trim off the ends and cut them lengthwise into 1cm thick slices. Heat a pan of vegetable oil and fry the aubergines for a couple of minutes until golden. Put them aside.
4. Grease a baking dish with olive oil and coat the bottom with the tomato sauce. Then add a layer of the aubergine slices, overlapping them slightly. Cover with some of the tomato sauce.
5. Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and pecorino cheese and then top with the mozzarella slices. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the ingredients are used up.
6. Finish with a layer of tomato sauce and grated parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with a little olive oil.
7. Bake for approximately 1 hour, until golden brown on top. Leave to stand for ten minutes and then serve.