This is a twist on a classic Italian dish, which I can now make almost as originally intended thanks to my discovery this year of vegetarian Parmesan cheese. Whilst ‘proper’ Parmesan uses calf’s rennet, the ‘value’ versions available in Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and elsewhere are completely veggie, so authentic Italian recipes are back on the menu in our house!
2 large aubergines, cut into 10mm slices
3 courgettes, cut at 45 degrees into 10mm slices
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
6 tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
30g mature cheddar cheese, grated
30g white breadcrumbs
50g vegetarian parmesan style hard cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
2. In a large frying pan or wok, lightly fry the aubergine and courgette slices in the olive oil on a medium heat. Cook in batches until all the slices are light brown and soft. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
3. Next, add the onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, add the chopped tomatoes and garlic to a small pan and gently bring to the boil before adding the softened onions.
4. In a large ovenproof dish, spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom before adding the aubergines and courgettes, a layer of grated cheddar cheese and the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan, then bake for 40 minutes until golden brown on top.
Serve warm with a green or tomato salad.