Comfort recipe for Aubergine Parmigiana – ideal for vegetarians and perfect for chilly nights
3 medium to large aubergines, cut length ways into 2 cm slices
1 jar Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh origanum, leaves picked
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
880 g passata or canned pureed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil leaves + extra for garnish
½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
200 g mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Drizzle olive oil onto a baking tray and arrange the sliced aubergine. You might need to use two trays or make this in two batches.
Spread a thin layer of Pesto Princess Sundried Tomato Pesto on each slice of aubergine before cooking in the oven for 12-15 minutes. You want the eggplant to be cooked and tender, but still slightly firm to retain its shape. Remove from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 180°C.
While the aubergines are cooking, start with the sauce. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, oregano and vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the passata, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Once your aubergines and sauce are ready, you can assemble the dish. In a medium oven-proof baking dish, spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the base, sprinkle with parmesan then top with a layer of eggplant. Repeat until all the ingredients are used, ending with a layer of sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan and all of the grated mozzarella.
Bake until the eggplant mixture is bubbly and the cheese crispy, 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of pan and thickness of layers. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a simple salad and fresh ciabatta rolls.
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