Roast aubergine parmi­giana


Serves 4 Prep 20 mins Cook 1¼ hrs £1.16 a por­tion 381 kcals, 24g fat, 11g sat. fat, 15g sugar VEG­E­TAR­IAN

2 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed small bunch basil, stalks finely chopped 2 × 400g cans cherry toma­toes 1 tbsp chopped sun­dried toma­toes 1 tsp clear honey few thyme sprigs, leaves re­moved 4 medium aubergines 2 balls light moz­zarella, thinly sliced 25g bread­crumbs 25g Parme­san (or veg­e­tar­ian al­ter­na­tive), finely grated crusty bread, to serve (op­tional)

1 Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a pan. Soften the gar­lic and the basil stalks for 1 min, with­out let­ting the gar­lic colour. Add both types of toma­toes, the honey, most of the thyme leaves and plenty of sea­son­ing. Sim­mer for 5 mins – you don’t want the sauce to re­duce too much at this stage.

2 Mean­while, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Cut 6 slits down into the flesh of each aubergine cross­wise, tak­ing care not to cut all the way through. Sea­son, then push moz­zarella and basil into each gap.

3 Pour the tomato sauce into a large bak­ing dish and sit the aubergines in it (or use 4 in­di­vid­ual dishes). Driz­zle with the re­main­ing oil. Cover with foil and scrunch it tightly at the edges. Bake for 50 mins-1 hr.

4 Re­move the foil. Mix the bread­crumbs and Parme­san, and scat­ter over the aubergines with the rest of the thyme. Bake, un­cov­ered, for an­other 15 mins or un­til the aubergines are very ten­der and the crumbs are golden and crisp. (Prod the largest aubergine in the cen­tre with a skewer.) Let the dish rest for 5 mins, then scat­ter over the rest of the basil leaves. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

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