Aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables, although often undervalued. If you also think that are not many uses for aubergines, you should try this recipe and you will change your mind!
Thanks to their meaty texture I use them when I prepare vegetarian curries. There are also various Italian recipes where aubergine is the main ingredient. Aubergine Parmigiana is one of them (see also my Aubergine Stew – Caponata).
According to the original recipe you should fry the slices of aubergine. I prefer to grill them so that the dish is a bit lighter and easier to digest 🙂 Start by preparing a very simple tomato sauce. While the sauce is cooking (for approx. 10 minutes), slice the aubergines and grill them. Then assemble the parmigiana by creating layers of tomato sauce, aubergine slices, mozzarella, and parmigiano cheese.
I used a rectangular baking casserole (18x24cm), assembling a total of 4 layers.
For the aubergines
For the layers of Parmigiana
Preheat oven at 200C.
Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the clove of garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Then add the canned chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and fresh basil. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, slice the aubergines. The slices should be around 5mm wide. Heat a grill pan and grill all the slices.
Place the grilled slices in a plate or large bowl. Season with oil and salt and mix well, preferably using your hands.
Assemble the layers of parmigiana
Start assembling the ingredients in a baking casserole. Pour on the bottom of your tray two tablespoons of tomato sauce, then place a layer of grilled aubergines. Layer on 2-3 tbsp of tomato sauce and spread it on the aubergines until all of them are "wet" with tomato sauce. You should not soak your aubergines in tomato sauce, so try to use up to 3 tbsp of sauce per layer. Sprinkle a few dices of mozzarella and grated Parmigiano cheese (approx. 2 tbsp). Then repeat.
Top the final layer of aubergines with 2 tbsp of tomato sauce and a more generous quantity of mozzarella dices and grated Parmigiano. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Switch to grill mode in the last 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.