Saturday, April 13, 2013

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

There is some controversy as to wether this dish comes from Northern Italy or Southern Italy, my money is on the South, but who knows my version is a combination of the classic Italian dish crossed with the French Aubergine a la Provencal as it has a more robust breadcrumb topping that gives a lovely contrast of textures.
Its something of a favourite amongst my Vegetarian chums perhaps because it does feel like a proper main course. In the main I use this dish as a vegetable side dish with grilled meats, just wonderful as an accompaniment to BBQ's though especially with Boulangere Potatoes.
Start with some Olive Oil in a pan and sweat down your Onions and Garlic for around 15 minutes at a low heat, add at least a tablespoon of dried Oregano, sounds a lot but it isn't and finely chopped stalks of Parsley. Cook that out for another few minutes and add a can of Tomatoes and a can of chopped Tomatoes put the lid on, turn the heat right down and cook for about half an hour until it is sweet and reduced crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and stirring from time to time, Season and add a splash of Red Wine Vinegar.
Like Jamie I prefer to Griddle my slices (Lengthwise) of Courgette and Aubergine so they get those lovely charred lines across them.
Take an earthen wear Dish and add a ladle of the Tomato Sauce grate some fresh Parmesan add a layer of Aubergine and Courgette repeat until the Dish is full. Top with more Tomato Sauce Parmesan and a cup or two of Breadcrumbs swirl the top with Olive Oil and add some fresh Oregano Leaves place in a preheated Oven at 200c for 30 to 40 minutes.

Delicious and so easy the flavours marry together beautifully and the crunchy texture of the breadcrumbs a delight.

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