Melanzane alla Parmigiana

March 2013

My turn to cook. I’m not used to cooking for a non meat eater, but here was my first attempt:

Melanzane alla parmigiana

I used a Jamie Oliver recipe as a reference for this but omitted the onions. I’ve rarely had it with onions in Italy and I’m not a fan of them unless they’re blended.

Ingredients:
2 large aubergines (depends on how many people you want to feed/size of your dish!)
Garlic
Dried oregano
Tomato passata
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese
Breadcrumbs
Rock salt and whole pepper
Red wine
Vegetable stock cube

First things first – I was a bit naughty and used only one fresh aubergine. I bought a pack of pre roasted aubergines from Waitrose to mix the two. However I think this was a mistake. The pre-roasted aubergines ended up a lot tougher and chewier than the fresh aubergines.

Slice the fresh aubergines into 1cm (or slightly thinner) slices. Pan fry them with oil and oregano. I personally think it’s better to use fresh oregano here if you can find it. I also added roack salt and ground pepper.

In the meantime heat up the tomato passata in a pan with a splash of red wine, the crushed garlic (unlike the sliced garlic that the recipe called for), more oregano, salt and a stock cube too. Leave to simmer until all the aubergine slices are soft and browned.

In an oven dish ladle in a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle some parmesan then place a layer of aubergines on top. Continue layering, taking care to ensure there is enough tomato sauce remaining for the top layer. Then cover the top with breadcrumbs, fresh oregano and black pepper. Put in the over and cook till golden on top and soft inside.

1

Rocket, cherry tomato and mozarella di bufala salad

I dont think this really warrants a recipe! Just toss the three ingredients in a bowl together! What does require a recipe however is the salad dressing. I am very partial to a dressing of balsamic vinegar, walnut oil, salt, pepper and the key ingredient – whole grain mustard!

3

Pan fried cod with red pepper puree, basil and chilli

Again, not much of a recipe here. I bought a jar of pre roasted peppers (lazy I know!) from the supermarket and ground them up using a large pestle and mortar. I used cod becasue it was the only fish I could find in the supermarket –  It’s not my favourite fish and as a result needed a strong sauce. I pan fried it with chopped chillies, basil, rock salt and the pureed pepper sauce.

4

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