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Aubergine, Tomato, and Parmesan Bake

True confession: we had eggplant written on our market list, but somehow bought zucchini instead. Whoops! Well, no worries, it was quite a happy mistake. Now we know either veg can be used here in this wonderful and super flavorful side dish. Tender slices of eggplant (or zucchini) bake in a garlic-infused tomato sauce with a finishing of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Mmm, mmm, mangia!

Aubergine, Tomato and Parmesan Bake

2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbs. olive oil
2 x 14 oz. tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbs. tomato paste
4 medium aubergines (eggplants), cut into long ½”-thick slices
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (¾ cup)
¾ oz. basil, leaves torn (½ cup firmly packed)
1 egg, beaten

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow pan, mix together the garlic and 4 tbs. of the olive oil. Cook over a high heat for 3 minutes, tip in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8 minutes, stirring every now and then. Stir in the tomato paste.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Brush the eggplant with a little of the oil and cook until well browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes, turning half way through. Lift onto paper towel and do the next batch.

When the eggplant is all cooked, lay half of them in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, spoon over half the sauce, sprinkle over half the cheese and basil, then season and repeat. Finally, brush the egg over the top, sprinkle with a little more cheese and bake for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden.

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