Lighter aubergine Parmigiana
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
We've baked the aubergines and used creamy ricotta in this healthy version of Parmigiana di melanzane - far lower in fat and calories than the original
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil , plus 1 tsp
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 aubergines (750g/1lb 10oz total weight), stalk ends trimmed, cut into 1cm/1/2in lengthways slices
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 400g can plum tomatoes
- 225g can plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 100g ricotta
- 50g mozzarella , torn into small pieces
- handful basil leaves , roughly torn
- 2 medium tomatoes , sliced
- 25g vegetarian-style parmesan , grated
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Measure the 2 tbsp of oil into a small bowl. Brush just a little of it onto 2 large, non- stick baking sheets (if you only have 1 tray, bake the aubergines in batches). Mix the lemon juice into the measured oil. Lay the aubergine slices snugly in a single layer on the baking sheets, brush the tops with half the oil and lemon, season with pepper and bake for 20 mins. Turn the slices over, give the remaining oil and lemon mixture a good stir as it will have separated, and brush it over again. Season with pepper and bake for 10-15 mins more or until softened.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 3-4 mins, stirring often, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Tip in the cans of tomatoes, stir to break them up, then mix in the purée, pepper and a pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered for about 10-12 mins until thickened and saucy, then stir in the oregano.
- STEP 3
Spread a little of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish (about 25 x 20 x 5cm). Start by laying a third of the aubergine slices widthways across the dish, spread over a third of the remaining sauce and put half the ricotta on top in small spoonfuls, then half the mozzarella. Scatter over half the torn basil and season well with pepper. Repeat the layering of aubergine slices, tomato sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and basil, and finish with the final aubergine slices, the sliced tomatoes and the last of the sauce. Season with pepper and scatter over the Parmesan. Bake for about 20 mins, or until the cheese is golden and the juices are bubbling.
ROCKET & GREEN BEAN SALAD
If you serve the Parmigiana with this salad, you can count the meal as having 3 of your 5-a-day. Lightly cook 150g fine green beans in a small pan of boiling water for 3-4 mins, then run under cold water. Toss the beans with a 70g pack of rocket and a handful of basil leaves. Drizzle with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a grinding of pepper, and gently toss together.
HOW I MADE IT HEALTHIER
I didn’t salt the aubergines. Instead of frying the aubergines, I reduced the fat by brushing the slices with a mixture of rapeseed oil (instead of olive oil) and lemon juice, and then baking them. To cut fat and salt further, I replaced some of the mozzarella with ricotta and reduced the amount of Parmesan.
WHAT IF I...
Used all mozzarella instead of a mix of ricotta and mozzarella? The calories would increase by 28 kcals. Total fat would rise by 2.4g, while saturated fat would rise by 1.7g and salt by 0.2g per serving.