Melanzane
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Takes 15 minutes and 30 minutes to bake

Melanzane is a classic Italian recipe made by layering aubergine, passata and cheese sauce – served with a green salad, it’s a summer must-eat.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 700g jar passata
  • 6 tomatoes on the vine, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 3 medium aubergines, trimmed and finely sliced into rounds
  • 500g fresh béchamel or cheese sauce
  • 100g Grana Padano, grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the passata, chopped tomatoes, oregano and sugar and bring to the boil.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pan of boiling water to the boil, add the aubergine slices and simmer for 5 minutes, until soft but still holding their shape. Drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Pour half the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 1.5-litre ovenproof dish. Top with half the aubergine and season to taste. Spoon over half the béchamel sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining aubergine, sauce and béchamel. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until bubbling. Serve with a green salad.

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