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
- 150g mozzarella
- 100g Parmesan/Pecorino, grated
- 1 red onion, finely choppes
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g 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.