Parmigiana is essentially a trio of delicate eggplant, luscious tomato sauce and delicious cheese: namely two of our grated superstars, Mainland Mozzarella and Parmesan. It’s perfect for family gatherings, can be made ahead, and while it’s vegetarian it will still fill you up on the coldest winter night.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Mainland Butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 700g jar tomato passata
- 400g tin diced tomatoes
- 4 large eggplants, cut into 2 cm rounds
- 375g packet Mainland Grated Mozzarella
- 200g packet Mainland Grated Parmesan
- 3 handfuls of basil leaves, plus a few extra for garnish
24cm round ovenproof baking dish
- Preheat your oven to 180°C bake.
- Heat the olive oil and Mainland Butter in a pot on a low-medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened.
- Add the passata and diced tomatoes and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until reduced slightly. Set aside.
- While the sauce cooks, season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cook in batches either in a griddle pan or fry pan on a high heat until charred and slightly tender. (You don’t want to cook them all the way through as they’ll finish cooking when you bake the parmigiana.)
- Set the eggplant aside to cool.
- Lightly brush the base and sides of the baking dish with olive oil.
- Ladle in a very thin layer of tomato sauce, followed by slices of eggplant and basil leaves. Cover with a layer of Mainland Grated Mozzarella, and Mainland Grated Parmesan.
- Repeat this layering until you’ve used all the eggplant, then finish with a layer of the tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle over more Mainland Mozzarella and Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the dish is golden brown on top and bubbling furiously.
- Remove, leave it to cool slightly then serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.