Aubergine Parmigiana

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2021) and taken from The Shortcut Cook by Rosie Reynolds.

This easy recipe uses a combination of oil and butter, along with a Parmesan and breadcrumb topping for a quick and delicious meal. Serve with a green salad.

Serves : 4

Ingredients :

4 medium aubergines
Olive oil, for brushing and cooking
Large knob of butter, softened
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, cubed
30g Parmesan, finely grated
Large handful fresh breadcrumbs
Handful basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C / 180 C fan / gas mark 6. Make deep slits, 1 cm apart, across the aubergines. Don’t cut all the way through. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cuts with oil. Dot the butter over each of the aubergines and season inside and out.
  • Mix together the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and some seasoning – this can be done in the tomato tins. Pour the mixture into a 20 x 30 cm baking dish and sit the aubergines on top. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the aubergines start to get soft.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Use the back of a spoon to open up the aubergine cuts and stuff with cubes of mozzarella and some of the tomato sauce.
  • Sprinkle over the Parmesan and breadcrumbs, then return the dish to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a final 10 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then scatter with basil leaves before serving.

Make ahead : Prepare the whole dish in advance and reheat in a hot oven until piping hot.

The shortcut : This meal has all the textural expectations of parmigiana, with none of the factory line-style crumbing – no salting, no dipping in egg, no frying in oil. This is one-pan, no-hassle cooking.

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