by Claudia Roden from The Food of Italy (Square Peg)
Photography: Jason Lowe
You find versions of this famous dish all over Italy, usually with several layers of aubergine, but I like this simple one.
700g aubergines, thickly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
500g ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped (Nigel used a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil or mint leaves
250g mozzarella, diced
5 tablespoons grated parmesan
Brush the aubergine slices with oil and cook them under the grill for about 10 mins, turning them over once.
Fry the garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil for moments only until the aroma rises. Add the tomatoes, sugar, a little salt and pepper and the basil or mint, and cook vigorously to reduce to a thick sauce.
Arrange the aubergine slices in a baking dish, cover with the tomato sauce, sprinkle with the cheeses and bake in the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for about 30 mins.
Alongside this dish, Nigel tasted Leafkicker Alchohol-Free Amber Ale, & 9 di Dante Inferno: