11 ingredients, 45 mins, serves 4
2 aubergines, sliced into 2 – 3mm thick slices
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tins (800g) tinned tomatoes
150ml red wine (optional)
1 tbsp capers (optional)
1 tbsp chopped basil
200g mozzarella, thinly sliced or torn into small pieces – or vegan equivalent
30g Parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese), finely grated – or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (optional) or more olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C. Griddle aubergine in batches until all slices are softened and charred. If the aubergine sticks to your griddle pan then you can oil the pan before griddling.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add the wine (if using) and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Add the tins of tomatoes and simmer gently for a further 30 minutes. If you are in a hurry you can reduce the time on this and finish when the aubergines are ready for layering. If you are reducing cooking time, taste your sauce and if it is a little bitter then add ½ tsp sugar.
Add in to the tomato sauce the capers, basil and pumpkin seed oil (and/or additional tbsp. olive oil). Season to taste.
In a medium sized baking dish (I use a 15 x 20cm dish but different dimensions will work, it will just impact on the depth of the bake) layer half of the aubergines. Cover with half of the tomato sauce, then half of the mozzarella. Repeat the process, adding the remaining aubergine, then the tomato sauce and finally the remaining mozzarella. Sprinkle the parmesan across the top of the dish. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the dish is heated through and the top browned and bubbling.
You can add 1 tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp of dried thyme to the tomato sauce.
If you are trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet then you could add a couple of tablespoons of my salad bag pesto to the sauce.
You can mix aubergine and courgette for a variation on the theme (this obviously starts to stretch the recipe well beyond aubergine parmigiana).
I love the richness of pumpkin seed oil but you could use any cold pressed oil – hemp, avocado or more extra virgin olive oil. As I dry fry the aubergines I often add both pumpkin seed oil and olive oil.
You can blitz the sauce smooth if you are not so keen on a chunky tomato sauce.