In the Essential Kitchen today, we make a great Aubergine Parmigiana recipe that is both delicious and affordable and doesn’t take up too much time.
Aubergine Parmigiana is a classic northern Italian recipe that uses Parmesan cheese and a tomato sauce to create a layered, lasagna-like dish that tastes delicious and is suitable to a plant-based diet. If you like your meet, it also goes well with and can be served alongside all sorts of roasted meat or roasted fish.
- 3 large aubergines (can substitute with courgettes or fennel)
- olive oil
- 1 onion , peeled and finely chopped
- ½ bulb spring garlic , or 1 clove of regular garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
- 2x 400g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes, or 1kg fresh ripe tomatoes
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- a little wine vinegar
- 1 large handful fresh basil
- 3 large handfuls Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (or vegan alternative)
- 2 handfuls dried breadcrumbs
- a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
- 150 g buffalo mozzarella, optional
Start by removing the stalks from your aubergines and cutting them into 1cm thick slices. In the meantime, heat up a griddle pan and let it get really hot while you slice the aubergines.
In another pan, heat up some olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion, dried oregano and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the tinned tomatoes to your pan and give it a good stir before covering the pan with a lid and allowing it to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
While your tomato sauce is simmering, you can start grilling your aubergines on both sides until lightly charred. You may have to do this in batches if your griddle pan isn’t big enough.
When your tomato sauce has reduced, add salt, pepper and white vinegar to taste and add the basic. If you want to, you can put the sauce into a processor to make it smoother, but I prefer to leave it chunky.
In a medium-sized ovenproof dish, add a thin layer of the tomato sauce and top it off with Parmesan, then layer your aubergines on top and repeat the process until your sauce (or aubergine) is finished up. Make sure to save a layer of tomato sauce and Parmesan for the top. It will end up looking like a lasagna dish would. Toss the breadcrumbs into some olive oil with dried oregano, adding it to the top of your dish.
Place the dish in the oven and bake at 190ºC/375ºF for half an hour until it’s golden and crisp.
This is best served straight away, but can also be served cold.
We hope you like this very simple recipe for Aubergine Parmigiana. It was really easy and convenient to make. And the ingredients aren’t particularly pricey either. I managed to finish cooking the recipe in little over an hour (including the half hour it takes to cook in the oven. And, when it comes to taste, it got compliments across the board. It’s a perfect dish to cook in the middle of the week.
For more awesome recipes lie this, visit the Essential Kitchen section.