16 December 2010

Parmigiana di melanzane - or Aubergines with Mozzarella and Parmesan

I first made this dish to accompany a roast chicken - which it did very well.  It occurred to me at the time, that it would be good with a lot of other types of meat and especially greasy types like Pork or Gammon, or types that tend towards dryness, as with Chicken.

Although the dish is heaving with cheese, it really isn't greasy.  Because of the juiciness of the tomato & basil sauce, it works so well with the cheeses and the aubergine.

I served today's Parmigiana di melanzane with sausages.  It almost seemed too good for the humble sausage!

PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE (serves 6)

Ingredients :

2 aubergines, sliced thinly
olive oil
300g mozzarella, sliced
115g parmesan, grated
3 tbsp crispy breadcrumbs
1 tbsp butter
  
For the tomato & basil sauce :
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
3 banana shallots, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2-3 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
salt & pepper

1.  Arrange the aubergine slices in a single layer on 1-2 baking sheets.  Brush with olive oil and season, then bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6, for 15-20 minutes, until tender, but not collapsing.

2.  Meanwhile, make the tomato and basil sauce.

3.  Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the tomatoes, with their can juices, and break them up.  Stir in the sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened.  Stir in the basil leaves.

3.  Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil and arrange half the aubergine slices in the base.  Cover with half the mozzarella, spoon over half the tomato sauce and sprinkle with half the Parmesan.  Mix the remaining Parmesan with the breadcrumbs.  Make more layers, ending with the Parmesan mixture.

4.  Dot the top with butter and bake for 25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

5.  Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Jenny this is really turning into an Italian/Sicilian week...........Lovely!
    Melanzane/Parmigiano, wonderful combination, wonderful...mmmmM!
    "Now where's that other bottle of Chanti" :0).
    I feel a pasta weekend coming on, so what else is new....! Have Fun....Eat Well....! :).

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  2. I thought you might like to know that we've just returned from Asda with what proposes to be a nice bottle of Chianti, to have with Christmas lunch. :)

    Oh, and I've just polished off the Melanzane for lunch and it was just as good 2 days later as it was on the day. LOL

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  3. WONDERFUL....WONDERFUL.....WONDERFUL...!
    I'll be up at my daughters in Stoke-On-Trent....
    And, l also will be taking a bottle of Chianti,
    (Well 2 or 3)with me. From my wine cellar, (Well,from the wine rack actually). lol. :)
    Yes, Melanzane are nice cold, just with a dribble of Olive Oil, and French bread.
    Little early l know, but, cheers, enjoy that Chianti. Just a suggestion, buy another bottle before Christmas, one bottle will get very lonely, on it's own....! :0).

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