Aubergine Parmigiana Recipe
On our Lacanche Chalonnais range cooker in our Felsted showroom we have an electric plancha which is a fantastic option on these bespoke cookers. You cook directly onto the hot plate which is perfect for recipes like this aubergine parmigiana which requires you to cook the aubergine in batches…
3 large aubergines
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 heaped tsp dried oregano
1kg fresh ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large handfuls fresh basil
4 large handfuls grated Parmesan cheese
300g buffalo mozzarella
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Remove the stalks from the aubergines and then slice them up into 1cm thick slices lengthways, and put to one side. If you have a Lacanche with a plancha turn it up to 200C, or alternatively use a non-stick frying pan or even a BBQ.
2. Meanwhile in a large pan or le creuset, add 2 or 3 lugs of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic has a tiny bit of colour.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pan – we don’t bother to remove the skin but you can if you prefer or use 2 x 400g tins of tinned plum tomatoes. Give the mixture a good stir, then put a lid on the pan and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.
4. Next, grill the aubergines on the plancha or in a pan both sides until lightly charred – you may have to do them in batches, as they probably won’t all fit onto the plancha or in the pan in one go. We don’t add oil as we find they go soggy. As each batch is finished, remove them to a tray and carry on grilling the rest until they’re all nicely done. When the tomato sauce is reduced and sweet, season it carefully with salt, pepper and add the basil which you can tear up as you add it. We left the sauce like this but if you prefer you can blend it for a smoother finish.
5. In an ovenware dish (approximately 25 x 12–15cm). Put in a small layer of tomato sauce, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of aubergines. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with a little sauce and another good sprinkling of Parmesan. Finally add the mozzarella on top which you can tear up into smaller pieces.
6. Place the dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbly. It’s best eaten straight away, but it can also be served cold and re-heats very well too covered with foil.