Bringing you a taste of the Mediterranean today.
Aubergine parmigiana is a fine example of the simplicity and deliciousness of Italian cuisine: fried aubergine baked in a tomato sauce and topped with oozing mozzarella. What could be better?
That was not a rhetorical question and the answer (as you may have guessed) is the addition of pasta. It is a strong belief of mine that almost every dish can only be made better when served with pasta. Perhaps because until the age of eight pasta was literally the only food I would eat so it is hard wired into me.
Even though I completely understand the necessity for speedy weeknight meals and I do make sure the majority of my recipes can be made in under an hour, I thoroughly recommend taking your time with this one. As there are so few ingredients in the sauce you really want to give it time to stew so that all of those beautiful flavours can marry together. Not to mention slow cooking aubergine just takes it to a whole new level of gorgeousness. So even though I know it is tempting to just throw together pasta sauces and heat them up for ten minutes please please please allow this sauce to bubble away for the full one and a half hours. You will not regret it!!
Serves 4 – 6
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 1 hour 30 minutes
- 2 large aubergines, ends removed and coarsely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tsp oregano
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp sugar
- small handful of basil, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 450 g pasta
- 250 g buffalo mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large saucepan and heat to a medium temp. Add the aubergine chunks and season generously with salt and pepper. Fry for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the aubergine has browned and softened.
- Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and then fill the can with water twice, swirl around to release any stuck tomatoes and then also add this to the pan. Pour in the tomato paste, oregano, sugar and lemon zest and then season very generously, stir and bring to the boil.
- Once the aubergine has been fried off add it into the saucepan, place a lid on the saucepan, turn down the heat to low and leave the sauce to simmer for a further 1 hour 10 minutes. Keep an eye on this sauce, if it looks like it is drying out add more water.
- When the sauce has been bubbling away for over an hour cook the pasta according the packet instructions, drain it and pour it into the sauce. Stir in the fresh basil and tip this into an oven proof casserole dish, approx 9 x 11 inch. Tear the mozzarella up and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the pasta.
- Place the dish into the oven and cook for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over any excess basil, cut and serve.
Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope that you enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think in the comments as I love hearing from you and do not forget to follow me on instagram and on this blog to see more recipes and foodie musings from me. The link to do both can be found below if on a tablet/ phone or in the side bar if on a computer >>>