Mozzarella, tomato, aubergine and basil are probably the most known ingredients of the italian cuisine. Put them all together in a dish and you will end up with the delicious parmigiana di melanzane.
Cut the aubergines (2 for 4p) in slices of 1 cm, put them in a colander and add salt on every layer. Make a simple tomato sauce with extra basil, dried or even the stalks of fresh basil (you can keap the leaves for the finishing touch. Chop a red onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 spicy little pepper and fry. Add 2 cans of passata of good quality. Add the chopped stalks and extra dried basil (1 tablespoon), a pinch of sugar. Let the sauce simmer for 20-30 mins. Taste and add salt.
After making the sauce it’s time to pre –prepare the aubergines. Rinse and dry the slices. Oil them at both sides. Grill them in the oven or on a grill plate. The smell of grilled aubergines is so good!
Decide which size of oven dish you will use (choice between thick and small or flat and large portions;-)). Oil the dish. Start with a layer of tomato sauce, some grated parmigiano, a layer of aubergines and thinly sliced mozzarella, and repeat. End with a layer of tomato sauce, chopped fresh basil and a layer of mozzarella. Count 40 mins in the oven at 180°. Buon appetito.
This is not an every day meal, although easy to prepare in advance, it is rather heavy, but so tasty and so Italian!