I still can remember my editor’s voice, before Christmas, saying that I might want to try writing more meaty recipes: quick and easy, student friendly meat dishes. I can even see him smiling while he reads this (maybe I should say “Hello!”) but well, this is another meat-free edition. But I have an excuse; I love all my vegetarian readers. And I have to think about them every time I write an article – finding subjects for you, pretentious reader, is complicated to say the least. But next week we will all have the post-exams binge so you can start saving some money for that now.
- 4 medium aubergines
- knob of butter
- 500 g mozzarella
- Tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic (the bigger, the better)
- 2 glugs of olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves (just in case you don’t know that the edible part of the basil are the leaves – yes, I speak from my own experience: some people don’t)
- 2 eggs
- Parmesan (depends on how big a cheese-fan you are)
Start by slicing the aubergines. They shouldn’t be thicker than 0.5 cm and you can cut them either on the long side or the short one, getting nice round slices. Depending on how good your oven is – and if it’s a hall oven probably not very good – you might need to pre-cook them a little bit. You can either put them on a single layer on a tray and cook them for five minutes in a pre-heated oven at 175˚C or you can slightly fry them in a frying pan – one minute each side will do. Chop the onion and the garlic as fine as possible. Fry them in the olive oil until the onions are golden – be careful, you want them golden, not brown. Add the tomato sauce and stir on high heat for five minutes.
Use a pretty deep tray and spread the butter all over it, including the sides. Arrange a layer of aubergine slices in it. Cover with tomato sauce and add some mozzarella. Make sure to divide the sauce and the mozzarella – you want a nice spread between each layer of aubergines. Repeat this step until you finish all the aubergines, sauce and mozzarella. If your tray is not very deep, you might not finish them; remember that you want a bit of space left at the top of the tray so that nothing will overflow. Try to have a last layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella. On the top, add some grated parmesan and the basil leaves – chopped or not, depending on your preference. Salt and pepper to taste (I add just the pepper and some chilli). Bake it for 20-25 minutes at 175˚. Five minutes before the end, pour over the beaten eggs and return to the hot oven – they make a nice creamy top.
Good job! Pat yourself on the back – you totally deserve this.