Aubergine Parmigiana

Aubergines with Mozzarella & Parmesan


Aunty Antonietta and Carlo

When I was six, I stayed with Aunty Antonietta, who was at home looking after my cousin, Carlo. Aunty Antonietta is the kindest person I know. Being in a particularly bad mood, I decided I didn’t want a fringe any more. Reaching for her nail scissors on her sideboard, I cut it off, right at the roots. I was quite pleased with my handiwork, admiring my reflection in her drinks cabinet. On descending the stairs with cousin Carlo in her arms, she turned white. Bless her heart; I think I ruined her day…..

This is Aunty Antonietta’s signature dish, which she made for us when we had lunch with her. (On our best behaviour, of course!)

Me, with my cut fringe
Aubergine Parmigiana

Serves 4
3 aubergines, thinly sliced * olive oil * 310g (11oz) mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 * 115g (4oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese * 3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs * salt * fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish * ragu: Nanny’s sauce (click here) * 1 tbsp butter

Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Sprinkle the aubergines with salt and leave in a colander over the sink to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse with water to remove the salt and pat dry with kitchen paper. (Please do this – otherwise, it will be very salty). Lay the aubergines on 2 baking sheets, brush with oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until soft, but not collapsing.

Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil and arrange half of the aubergines on the base. Cover with half of the mozzarella, Spoon half the Nanny’s sauce (ragu) over the aubergines, then sprinkle half of the Parmesan over this. Layer the rest of the aubergines over the top and the rest of the Nanny’s sauce. Mix the remaining Parmesan with the breadcrumbs and lay over the top of the sauce. Top off with dots of butter. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the topping is golden. Serve.

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There are more recipes in the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.