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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Aubergine Parmigiana (Parmigiana di Melanzane): Baked aubergines with cheese and tomato sauce

Ingredients (Serves 6)

1kg/35oz/2.2lbs Aubergines
1 clove garlic
1 onion
2tbsp olive oil
700gr/24oz tomato passata (sieved puréed tomatoes)
1 1/2tsp salt
2tsp caster sugar
1tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp pepper
3tbsp coarse salt
2/250gr/8.8oz mozzarella cheeseballs
100gr/3 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese


Wash aubergines and cut them into 1/2in thick slices. Arrange them in layers inside a large colander, covering each layer with the coarse salt. Place a plate over the last layer, add a weight on top and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours, to release the bitter juices. Rinse and squeeze well, then grill at 190°C/375°F, for 10 minutes, until soft.

For the tomato sauce, finely chop the onion and garlic. Place the olive oil into a large pan.  Add the garlic and onion and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft. Add 1tbsp water if it becomes too dry. Add the tomato purée, 1 1/2tsp salt, the nutmeg, the pepper and the sugar, put a lid on the pan and simmer slowly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dice the mozzarella cheese and grate the Parmesan cheese.  Put a spoonful of tomato on an oven dish (25 x 20 x 5cm/10 x 8 x 2in) then alternate layers of aubergines, tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Finish with a layer of sauce and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 200°C/390°F for 45 minutes until golden and crisp on the surface. 

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