Cheat’s Aubergine Parmigiana Recipe

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Eat the Week: Every meal, every dayI’m always torn between spicy foods and hearty Italian dishes – this is for when I’m in the mood for the latter. Make sure you put some time in with your sauce and you won’t go wrong, even though this dish cuts corners and requires a lot less effort than the traditional method.

  • Yield: 8 (or 4 with leftovers)
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 4 aubergines (eggplants), sliced into rounds about 1 cm (½ in) thick
  • olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5½ fl oz 2/3 cup (170 ml) white wine
  • 14 oz (2 x 400 g) tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 9 fl oz 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock
  • 4½ oz (3 x 125 g) balls of mozzarella
  • 4 slices of sourdough or rustic white bread
  • large handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2½ oz 2/3 cup (70 g) finely grated parmesan
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Place the aubergine slices in a single layer on generously oiled non-stick baking trays and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes or until the aubergine begins to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, get started on your tomato sauce. Pour a big glug of oil into a large pan and add the onion, carrot, garlic and oregano, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 4–5 minutes or until the onion is translucent, then add the white wine, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Let it bubble for 5 minutes before turning the heat down to medium–low and leaving the sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes; if you have time, let it cook for 40 minutes–1 hour.
  3. Next prepare the mozzarella and breadcrumbs: chop or tear both the cheese and bread into roughly 1 cm (½ in) cubes.
  4. When the tomato sauce is done, add half of the basil and parsley and check the seasoning. Remove the aubergines from the oven and reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). You’re now ready to start building the dish.
  5. Place a layer of aubergine in a deep baking dish or tin. Add a layer of tomato sauce and a sprinkling of basil and parsley, followed by a few pieces of mozzarella and some roughly torn breadcrumbs. Repeat these layers until you’ve used everything up – you’re aiming for around four layers in total. Make sure you save enough breadcrumbs to combine with the grated parmesan for the final layer.
  6. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden and crispy on the top. Serve straightaway.

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