I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I like comfort food. Why wouldn’t you? But I know that most comfort foods aren’t always the healthiest things to eat with all the carbs, cream and cheese they mostly contain. As this whole low-carb thing has taken over the world, I was thinking the other day if there are really any low-carb, vegetarian options out there? That’s when I remembered my old favourite, Parmigiana di Melanzane.
I’m not usually the biggest aubergine fan but I do like it layered with rich tomato sauce topped with lots of cheese and so decided to zshoosh it up a little by adding a lot of herbs and mushrooms to the tomato sauce. The end result was the most delicious, comforting bake which was the perfect light comfort food. Something I need more and more now that we’re moving swiftly into Autumn. If you’re not eating low-carb, you could serve this with some good crusty bread but I served it with a green salad dressed in a zesty lemon vinaigrette and it was just delicious.
- 3 large aubergine sliced into 1cm slices
- 150 g mozzarella
- 100 g Parmesan/Pecorino grated
- 1 red onion finely choppes
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 250 g mushrooms sliced (I used portobellini/chestnut)
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes / 500g cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and grill in a hot griddle pan for 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
To make the sauce, sauté the onion in a saucepan in a splash of oil until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are golden brown.
Add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly.
To assemble the bake, layer the grilled aubergine with the sauce and cheese in an oven-proof dish, reserving some of the mozzarella to finish the bake off with.
Place the dish in the oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve with salad/bread of your choice.