Who needs meat with meals like this Veggie Stack recipe

2 large aubergine, sliced in 1 cm slices
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1 large red or orange pepper, finely diced
250 ml finely chopped baby marrow
250 g button mushrooms, finely chopped (not sliced)
1 x 425 g can chopped tomatoes
65 g packet or can of tomato paste
180 ml dry red wine
1 – 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
a generous pinch of dried Italian herbs
sugar, milled black pepper
65 ml finely chopped basil or parsley
325 ml grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

How to
Lightly salt the aubergines and let them sit in a strainer over the sink to release any bitter juices.

Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onion and celery and saute until translucent. Add the red or orange pepper and baby marrow and saute until lightly browned here and there. Now add the mushrooms and cook until they release their juices. Finally, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, garlic, chilli if using and the dried herbs.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so until the veggies are tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced. If the mixture is too saucy, remove the lid, increase the heat and allow to cook rapidly until reduced and thickened to your liking. Now season to taste and stir in the fresh herbs.

Rinse the aubergine slices well and pat dry. Brush with a little olive oil on both sides. Grill in the oven or in a griddle pan until cooked and lightly charred here and there.

To serve, stack the aubergine slices with the veggie mixture and a sprinkle of grated cheese in-between. Place in a hot oven to heat through and serve with a green herb salad and cheesy-garlicky polenta.

Recipe and video provided courtesy of I Love Cooking.

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