With their glorious glossy violet skins, the elegant aubergine has served us well this summer and is just nearing the end of its season. This dish is perfect as the cooler evenings set in. Each Italian home has its own variation of this classic dish but this is ours at Montecalvi.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Serves 6

  • 3 medium sized aubergines, cut in to 7mm slices
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil (approx 4 tbsp)
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped / or you can use a 400g can
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • 300g mozzarella di bufala cut in to slices
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan

Slice the aubergine and put them in a colander sprinkled with salt and leave for about half an hour to let the bitter juices drain away.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C˚.

Begin making the tomato sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the garlic and as soon as it begins to take slight colour, remove and discard and add the tomatoes, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for around 15 minutes until the tomatoes have blended into a sauce. Just before it is ready, add the torn basil leaves. Set aside.

Pat the aubergine slices dry with kitchen paper and lay out on baking sheets, brushing generously on each side with the Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Bake in the over for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Taking a square or rectangular oven dish begin layering your parmigiana as follows: tomato sauce / aubergine / mozzarella and repeat until almost at the top of the dish and then top with the grated parmesan.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread.

Melanzane alla Parmigiana works brilliantly with Sangiovese and we particularly like it with our Chianti Classico 2019