In this simple variation on an Italian classic, eggplants are layered with thick tomato passata, aromatic herbs and creamy mozzarella cheese, and finished with a topping of grated Parmesan.
1 pound 2 ounce eggplants
5 - 10 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound mozzarella cheese
A small bunch of basil or oregano
7/8 cup tomato passata
Salt and black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
1. Rinse and trim the eggplants; finely slice them across into rounds.
2. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet, or two smaller pans, and fry the eggplant slices in batches over a fairly high heat, turning once, until golden brown. Add more oil as necessary
3. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Thinly slice the mozzarella. Rinse, dry and chop enough basil or oregano to give 2 tablespoons. Set them aside.
4. When the eggplants are ready, arrange them in layers in a wide, shallow, flameproof dish. Alternate them with layers made up of the mozzarella, tomato passata, basil or oregano, and seasoning.
5. Grate the Parmesan over the top layer, then grill for 4 — 5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serving suggestion
Serve with grilled meats, such as lamb cutlets or steak, with simply cooked white fish, or alongside a vegetarian risotto.