Another classic from Italy this week. Melanzane or eggplant parmigiana is a wholesome dish made with my favourite vegetable, eggplant. This dish makes a good main course too. Here’s my version to an authentic Melanzane parmigiana with a generous layer of pomodoro, grilled eggplant & cheese finished off in the oven. . yumm!!
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Crushed & chopped garlic cloves – 5no.
Thyme sprigs – 3no
Peeled & chopped red tomatoes – 4no
Tomato puree – 200ml
Eggplant medium size – 2 no
Parmesan cheese – 5tbsp
Mozzarella cheese – 8tbsp
Handful basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a pan & add in the garlic & thyme leaves. Sauté for 2 minutes but do not let the garlic get golden. Add in the chopped tomatoes & some warm water. Cook for about 15 min. & add in the tomato puree & cook for a further 10 min. Break a few basil leaves & add to the sauce & take off the fire. Slice the eggplant into 1 cm thick round slices & season. In a pan, add some olive oil & grill the sliced eggplant till half cooked. Mix both the cheese together & leave aside. Assemble in a baking trey. Start first with some sauce, followed by the eggplant slices placed evenly. Add another layer of sauce followed by a sprinkle of cheese & a few basil leaves. Continue in the same way to make 4 layers. On the final layer, add the cheese on top & bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 10 min. Once baked, remove from the oven & rest the parmigiana for 5 min. before serving.
Note: in case the tomato sauce gets a little sour, add a teaspoon of sugar.