Although the dish is heaving with cheese, it really isn't greasy. Because of the juiciness of the tomato & basil sauce, it works so well with the cheeses and the aubergine.
I served today's Parmigiana di melanzane with sausages. It almost seemed too good for the humble sausage!
PARMIGIANA DI MELANZANE (serves 6)
300g mozzarella, sliced
115g parmesan, grated
3 tbsp crispy breadcrumbs
1 tbsp butter
For the tomato & basil sauce :
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
3 banana shallots, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2-3 shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
salt & pepper
1. Arrange the aubergine slices in a single layer on 1-2 baking sheets. Brush with olive oil and season, then bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6, for 15-20 minutes, until tender, but not collapsing.
2. Meanwhile, make the tomato and basil sauce.
3. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, with their can juices, and break them up. Stir in the sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the basil leaves.
3. Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil and arrange half the aubergine slices in the base. Cover with half the mozzarella, spoon over half the tomato sauce and sprinkle with half the Parmesan. Mix the remaining Parmesan with the breadcrumbs. Make more layers, ending with the Parmesan mixture.
4. Dot the top with butter and bake for 25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
5. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.