Melanzane alla Parmigiana is my favourite Neapolitan dish, it's true comfort food for the soul and a perennial, seasonal favorite. It's making has become a family affair as my eldest scours the shrubs in search of our big black bounty.
- 4 pounds eggplant (halved, then cut into thin slices)
- olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (blanched, peeled and chopped)
- 1 small onion (peeled and chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- a handful of fresh basil (chopped)
- 3/4 pound fresh buffalo mozzarella (torn)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
- lasagna sheets (optional)
- parsley (chopped)
Step 1: Add the chopped onion to a heated pan, fry until browned, 8-10 minutes, then add in garlic, fry for a minute before adding the tomatoes, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, season with salt to taste.
Step 2: Preheat your oven to 350F, apply a thin layer of olive oil to each of the eggplant slices, arrange on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and then bake for around 15 minutes until they start to brown.
Step 3: In an oven proof dish, add a layer of the eggplants, followed by a layer of tomato sauce, fresh basil, lasagna sheets (optional), Mozzarella, Parmigiano. Repeat this layering until you end with layer of cheeses.
Step 4: Place the dish in the oven and baked for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Plate up and garnish with fresh parsley and pepper.