Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s Lazy Aubergine Parmigiana
Cooking Time – 20 minutes
Feeds – 6/8
5 Aubergines – Sliced into circles, roughly 1cm thick
1 White onion – Finely Cubed
1 Carrot – Peeled and finely cubed
3 Large cloves of garlic – Crushed and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon of dried oregano
175ml of White wine
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml of vegetable stock
1 Large handful of basil leaves – Roughly chopped
1 Handful of parsley – Roughly chopped
4 Balls of mozzarella
5 Handfuls of fresh white bread – Roughly chopped
70 g of (vegetarian) Parmesan – Finely grated
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the sliced aubergines on a generously oiled non-stick tray and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20/25 minutes until the aubergines begin to soften.
As soon as the aubergines are in the oven get started on your tomato sauce. Add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic along with a big glug of rapeseed oil to large pan and add a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a tablespoon of oregano. Cook on a medium heat for 4/5 minutes until the onions start to go translucent. Next add the white wine, tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock and increase the heat slightly so that the liquid comes up to boil. Cook for a further 5 minutes before reducing the temperature again and letting the sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Whilst your sauce is cooking get on with preparing the mozzarella and breadcrumbs. Chop or tear both the cheese and bread roughly into 1cm by 1cm pieces. Once the tomato sauce is cooked add half of the chopped parsley and basil and check for whether you need to add additional seasoning. You’re now ready to start building the dish.
You’ll need a ovenproof dish around 29cm by 29cm and at least 6cm deep.
Start with a layer of the roasted aubergine, followed by a layer of tomato sauce, a small sprinkle of basil and parsley followed by a few scattered pieces of mozzarella and roughly torn bread crumbs, repeat this process until you’ve used everything up. You’re aiming for around 4 layers in total. Make sure you save enough breadcrumbs to combine with the grated parmesan when finishing off the final layer. This is your chance to create as much crunch as possible.
Place in the oven on 190 degrees Celsius for 15/20 minutes or until golden and crispy on the top. Serve straight away.
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