A rich and robust Italian classic, this aubergine parmigiana packs a hearty punch!
This bubbling aubergine and parmesan bake is one of my all time favourite dishes. It’s
hearty, stodgy but oh so delicious. Chargrilled softened layers of aubergine cooked in tangy tomatoes, smoky garlic and fragrant oregano, finished with a golden topping of crispy breadcrumbs, gooey mozzarella and salted parmesan. The ultimate in rustic Italian dining, this sumptuous dish can be served as an indulgent side, but is tasty enough to devour on its own.
- 4 x large aubergines (sliced thinly)
- Drizzle of olive
- 1 x large red onion
- Bunch of fresh thyme
- 2 x garlic cloves
- Dried oregano
- ½ tbsp brown sugar
- A little wine vinegar
- 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
- Handful fresh basil
- 100g freshly grated Parmesan (or Grana Padano )
- A few handfuls of breadcrumbs (to scatter on top)
- 1 x egg (beaten)
- 200g buffalo mozzarella (torn)
- Fresh basil leaves (to garnish)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Heat a griddle pan to a high temperature. Dice the red onion and garlic and fry off on a medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the oregano and a handful of fresh thyme leaves. Cook for about 10 minutes.
2. Whilst the onion is frying off, start to griddle the aubergine slices. You will have to do this in stages, but just transfer the cooked slices to a plate whilst cooking the remaining slices.
3. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic, together with a dash of wine vinegar, brown sugar. Cook for about 20-25 mins until reduced. Season the tomato mix with salt and pepper , and add in a handful of fresh basil.
4. Lightly oil your baking dish (a lasagne dish works perfectly) and then start to layer a little of the tomato sauce. Follow with a layer of aubergines and a scattering of Parmesan. Repeat these layers until you have used up all your sauce and aubergine slices.
5. The last layer should have a little tomato sauce on top. Beat the egg and pour over the final layer. Finish with a scattering of Parmesan, breadcrumbs and fresh mozzarella.
6. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Garnish with some fresh basil leaves.