Cheesy, rich, tomatoey. One for the veggies. Perfect for a dinner party.
Dehydrating your veg – before you grill courgettes and aubergines, leave them in salt for a bit. It draws out the moisture, and intensifies the flavour.
Building your parmagiana – there is no exact science to this – just try to split your layers up evenly. But don’t spend time worrying about it, it will taste delicious either way!
COOKING TIME (INCLUDES PREPARATION TIME): 1 HOUR
FEEDS: 4 PEOPLE
3 x 400 Gram Tins of Chopped Tomatoes - £1.20
1 Jar Pitted Black Olives - £0.75
2 Balls of Mozzarella - £1.40
4 Garlic Cloves - £0.30
1 Bunch of Basil - £0.70
1 Red Chilli - £0.60
1 Block of Parmesan - £2.00
4 Courgettes - £1.20
3 Aubergines - £1.80
Total Cost: £9.95 – This covers absolutely everything. All we assume you have in your kitchen beforehand is SALT, PEPPER AND OLIVE OIL.
Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
Cut the aubergines and courgettes into long strips.
Leave them in a bowl and cover in salt. This will dehydrate them, which will intensify the flavour.
While these are dehydrating add 4 chopped garlic cloves, a whole chopped red chilli and a big handful of black olives into a pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Allow these to soften, and then add the 3 tins of tomato sauce, salt and pepper. This sauce now needs to reduce and thicken.
While this is happening, place your strips of aubergine and courgettes on a griddle pan and grill until soft and charred. Take them off the heat and let them rest.
Once the tomatoes resemble a rich, thick sauce (it mustn’t be too runny, or the final dish won’t set firmly enough), take it off the heat.
Spoon some of the sauce into an oven dish.
Then, layer up with courgette, aubergine, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil – keep repeating until dish is full. Finally add a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.
Place the dish in the oven, and leave for 35 minutes, or until the top cheese layer is golden and bubbling. Serve with your remaining basil leaves.