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Melanzane Parmigiana

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shares how to whip up a delicious dish!


  • 4 medium aubergines (about 1kg)

  • 4–5 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella (125g each), torn into pieces

  • About 35g parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, finely grated

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 4 x 400g tins plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, any stalky ends and skin removed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • A little sugar

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Trim the aubergines and slice lengthways into 3–5mm thick slices. Layer the slices in a colander, sprinkling each layer with a little salt. Leave to draw the juices for an hour or so.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a very large, wide pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then simmer briskly, stirring often, for about half an hour, or until the sauce is thick and rich. Season well with salt and pepper, and a little sugar to taste.

  • 3.

    Quickly rinse the aubergine slices and pat dry thoroughly with kitchen paper or a tea towel. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, fry a batch of aubergine slices for about 2 minutes each side, until golden and tender. Remove and set aside. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices, adding a little more oil to the pan before you fry each batch.

  • 4.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Lay a third of the aubergine slices over the bottom of an ovenproof dish, roughly 25 x 20cm, and at least 5cm deep. Cover with a third of the tomato sauce.

  • 5.

    Dot a third of the mozzarella over the sauce, then scatter a thin layer of grated cheese over that. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, so you have three layers in the dish.

  • 6.

    Bake for 30–40 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top. Serve with lots of fresh green salad – and bread, if you like.

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Posted by Monica185Report
Sounds delicious!!!! Have eggplants ready to be planted, will definitly give this recipe a go when they start to fruit, might even make a loaf of bread to go with it!!
Posted by Monica185Report
Sounds delicious!!!!! Have eggplants ready to go into the garden, will have give this recipe a go when they produce fruit, and will have to make a loaf of bread to go with it.