Saturday, 13 March 2010

Aubergine parmigiana

Finally my cooking mojo seems to have returned. Over the last few weeks I've had problems summing up the enthusiasm to cook anything new. Don't know why but I'm guessing it's something to do with the nightmare we've had over the past month. Latest drama is son no2 devloping chicken pox on possibly the worst week he could have done. Thank goodness for my Mum and some great friends who've helped us out on the childcare front though.

So, my mission over the next few weeks is to try some new recipes. The Husband doesn't consider a meal a meal unless it comes with a slab of animal protein, he'll just about tolerate fish with some protestations. So, I'm trying to increase my veggie repetoire. Something I've never really had to cook as all our friends are pretty carnivorous.

This is a fantastic veggie recipe that I've made several times. This serves 6 (apparently !) and there is always leftovers which I freeze and whizz up to a pasta sauce for the kids - minus the topping. Tonight I served it with simple lemon and garlic roast chicken but it's also lovely with steak and a side salad.

Sadly I can't take the credit for this, it's from Jamie's Italy, but I have done a few little tweaks. Best of all, it's one of the only things I've ever cooked which comes out of the oven looking almost identical to the pic in the book !

Serves 6

3 large firm aubergines sliced into 1cm rounds
Olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
Red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Large handful basil chopped
2 handfuls grated parmesan
Large handful dried breadcrumbs
A little fresh oregano chopped
1 ball mozzarella

Firstly brush the aubergine slices with oil and cook on a griddle pan for a few minutes each side
Set aside
Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic, onion and dried oregano
Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until the onion is soft
Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook for 15 mins until reduced
Add some seasoning, basil and a splash of vinegar
Put a smear of sauce in the bottom of a large earthenware dish, sprinkle over some parmesan and then lay over the aubergine
Repeat the layers finishing with a layer of sauce
Toss the breadcrumbs with the oregano and some olive oil
Lay the sliced mozzarella over the top and then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs
Bake at 200C for 30 mins until crisp and golden.

Say mmmmmmmmmmm lots !

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