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Monday, 31 May 2010

Aubergines Parmigiana (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

Few dishes scream 'summer' to me like melanzane alla parmigiana. This is a proper mediterranean dish, its key ingredients being aubergines, tomatoes, basil, olive oil and of course, Parmesan cheese. It makes a great vegetarian main, or a tasty side. It is not exactly a light dish; you could grill the aubergines instead of frying them, however (at least in my opinion) the final result won't be as tasty. You also need to be generous with the cheese; a sprinkle just won't do, you need a good layer. If you are worried about your waistline, just eat a smaller portion or go for a long walk after lunch :-)

INGREDIENTS (for 2 people as a main or 4 as a side)
  • One large aubergine
  • 1 bottle of passata
  • A few basil leaves
  • One onion
  • One clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Three large handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (approximately)
Cut the aubergine in fine slices. Sprinkle each slice with a little salt and put them in a colander for about 20 minutes. These will help them release the excess water. 

Fry each slice in a little olive oil, until they are golden and soft. Lay them on kitchen paper, which will ensure that any excess oil is absorbed. 

Chop the onion and garlic very finely and soften them at low heat in a little olive oil. Add the passata, the  basil leaves, salt and pepper and let simmer for about 20 minutes. 
When the sauce is ready, get a baking tray and spoon some tomato sauce at the bottom. Place a layer of aubergines on the sauce, then another layer of sauce and finally a generous layer of Parmesan. Continue like this (aubergines, sauce, Parmesan) until you run out of ingredients. 



Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180 ° C for about 30 minutes, then let it rest for a further 30 minutes. It should be served warm, not piping hot. Make sure you provide plenty of fresh, crusty bread to mop up the juices!

1 comment:

ceeecia said...

This is one of my favourite Italian dishes indeed! easy to make but yet so tasty!:) and it helps getting the 5 portions a day of vegetables we all need!