It’s always nice when you don’t put much effort into something and someone won’t shut up about how “clever” you are and how delicious your food is. This dish is pretty easy, but strangely looks like it would be difficult to prepare. It’s not – but don’t tell your guests that.
some flour for dusting
330ml olive oil
500ml tomato passata
2 tablepoons fresh basil (roughly chopped)
250g mozzarella cheese (grated)
100g parmesan cheese (grated)
Thinly slice the eggplants (lengthways) and sprinkle with a little salt. Leave for about 45 minutes in a collander to drain of their bitter juices. Pat them dry and dust with the flour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Grease a 32×20 shallow baking tray or casserole. and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the eggplant in batches until crisp and golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels as you fry the rest.
Make 1 layer of slightly overlapping eggplants in the tray and season with pepper spoon about 4 tablespoons of passata over and spread out, then scatter some basil and then some mozzarella and a little parmesan. Make another layer of eggplant, passata, pepper and mozarella and parmesan. Continue in this order until you’ve used up all the ingredients. Finish with a layer of the cheeses and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then serve.
On it’s own with some salad or maybe with some fish or chicken.