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Member recipe

Aubergine Parmigiana

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Serves 4

Aubergine parmigiana is that rare and glorious thing: Mediterranean stodge.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5kg aubergines
  • Fine salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 800g good tinned tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Oil, to fry
  • 200g mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 125g Parmesan, grated
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • Handful of basil leaves

Method

    1. Cut the aubergines lengthways into 5mm slices, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander to drain for half an hour.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium-high heat and add the garlic. Fry for a minute, then tip in the tomatoes and wine. Bring to the boil, mashing the tomatoes, stir and then turn down the heat slightly. Add a pinch of sugar, a little seasoning and the oregano, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree until smooth.
    3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Put a large pan of water on to boil if you're feeling healthy. Rinse the aubergines well, and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to coat the bottom well, and put on a high heat. Fry half (healthy) or all (not), of the aubergine slices until golden brown on both sides, working in batches. Put the cooked slices on paper towel to drain. Blanch the other half, if necessary, in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain well.
    4. Lightly grease a baking dish and spread with a thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by a layer of aubergines (packing them tightly), mozzarella, Parmesan and seasoning. Add another layer of aubergines, followed by tomato sauce, the cheeses and seasoning. Repeat this order until you have used up all the aubergine, finishing with a layer of sauce (you may not need all the sauce) – keep a little Parmesan back for the top.
    5. Toss the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and browned, then allow to cool slightly and sprinkle with torn basil before serving.

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