Known as Parmigiana di Melanzane in Italian, this dish is a true celebration of the humble aubergine, transformed into a delectable and satisfying masterpiece. Layered with tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of Parmesan, this dish is a symphony of flavours that will transport you to the sun-drenched hills of Italy.
- 2 large aubergines eggplants
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 250 g ricotta
- 200 g smoked mozzarella cheese scamorza, grated
- 100 g Parmesan cheese grated
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Slice the aubergines into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and place them on a baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the slices are tender and lightly golden.
- While the aubergine slices are baking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and sprinkle in the dried oregano, onion and garlic powder and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
- In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Place a layer of aubergine slices on top, slightly overlapping each other. Dot over the ricotta. Sprinkle a portion of the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese over the aubergines. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese on top.
- Bake the Aubergine Parmigiana in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden brown.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- Serve the Aubergine Parmigiana warm, either as a main course or a hearty side dish. Enjoy.