Italian Style Parmigiana

On a short visit to Rome recently, I had the most delicious Parmigiana di Melanzane in a little restaurant just by the Spanish Steps. The flavour in that moment was incredible, and I knew it would be impossible to recapture. But on coming home I was inspired to have a go, and try to recreate it’s essence. As ever, I couldn’t resist making a few tweaks to put my own stamp on it.

This dish is all about the happy marriage of tomatoes, parmesan and aubergines, but why not sneak in some grilled courgettes and pointed red peppers too?  This could only add to the colour and taste of Italy.

Italian Style Parmigiana

Grilled Aubergines,courgettes and red peppers layered and baked in a rich tomato sauce with mozzarella and parmesan.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 pointed sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 can organic tomatoes
  • A generous squirt of organic tomato paste
  • A sprinkle of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Generous dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • A handle of fresh basil
  • 1 ball mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Instructions
 

  • If you have a heavy skillet that can be used on top of the stove and in the oven, then this dish can be cooked in the one pan to save on the washing up!
  • First slice the vegetables into long 1cm slices.
  • Season them lightly and sauté them in batches, in hot olive oil on top of the stove.
  • Remove the slices when they have turned a nice golden brown on both sides. Keep them to one side.
  • Now make a basic tomato sauce by frying the chopped garlic and onions in a little more olive oil, Then add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and seasoning.
  • Bring it up to a brisk bubbling heat, and then turn it down and simmer for 15 mins.
  • When the sauce as reduced down, taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Now either in the original skillet or in a medium sized ovenware dish, layer the vegetables, sauce, and parmesan lasagne style, saving the mozzarella and some of the parmesan for the very top.
  • Bake in a medium hot oven for 25 mins or until golden brown and bubbling.
Keyword eggplant, parmesan
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