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natooraThis recipe for Melanzane alla Parmigiana has been reproduced courtesy of Natoora -

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Melanzane alla ParmigianaIngredients for Melanzane alla Parmigiana

2 large aubergines, preferably the round variety
extra virgin olive oil
2 balls of mozzarella
1 - 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper

a small baking tray

How to make Melanzane alla Parmigiana

  • Wash, top and tail the aubergines peel off alternate stripes of skin. Then slice lengthways in 1 cm thick slices. Ideally, do this the night before, layer in a pasta drainer sprinkling some rock salt on each layer, then put a heavy weight on top (usually a pot full of water does the trick) and leave to rest in the sink. The aubergines will lose quite a bit of water overnight.
  • The following day, pat each slice with kitchen paper to dry them further. This step helps a lot as it improves the final result (you will get a meatier, less watery bake) but it is not essential, so if you do not have time just skip this bit.
  • Fry the aubergines in hot oil, but try to use as little as possible as aubergines will soak up a lot of oil resulting in a very heavy and greasy bake.
  • Leave to rest on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  • If you have dried the aubergines overnight with salt, then they probably don’t need any seasoning. If you haven’t, then add salt to taste (consider they will flavour the tomatoes as well).
  • Mix the tomatoes with the crushed garlic and some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Now start building your parmigiana.
  • Put a spoonful of chopped tomatoes (you can use passata if you prefer a creamier result) on the bottom of the baking dish, then place a layer of aubergines on top.
  • Top with more tomatoes, finely chopped mozzarella, basil and parmesan.
  • Repeat until you run out of aubergines, making sure the last layer of parmesan is quite generous.
  • Bake for half an hour at 200°C.
  • Serve hot.

Serves 2

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Published with permission of Natoora

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