A Quick and Easy Supper Recipe for All the Family
The southern Italian Parmigiana di Melanzane, is one of my faves at this time of year. Not only is it rich, warming and full of flavour, it reminds me of warmer Mediterranean climes, which then initiates the ‘where shall we go on holiday’ chat, which is always fun.
Using the key ingredients of this classic, my variation is a little more jazzy and uses turkey thigh mince. I do think that turkey should be eaten more frequently than just at Christmas. It is flavoursome, lean and cost effective. Tick, tick, tick.
Aubergine and Turkey Parmigiana
Prep in 30 minutes, cooks in 30 minutes
Ingredients and suggested quantities:
½ large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely sliced
½ tsp dried oregano
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
12oz lean turkey thigh mince
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 sweet pepper, cut into small squares
1 courgette, cubed
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 aubergine, sliced into ½cm thick discs
2 mozzarella balls, sliced into ½cm thick slices
5 tbsp of breadcrumbs
2oz Fresh parmesan, grated
1 large handful of fresh basil, torn
- Pre-heat oven to 200c
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and chuck in the onion and garlic until softened. Brown the turkey mince in the same pan with the oregano, thyme, cinnamon, lemon zest and black pepper
- After about 5 minutes, add the pepper and courgette and continue to cook before adding the tomatoes, puree, balsamic vinegar and half a tin of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the torn basil leaves, reserving a few to sprinkle over the top before serving
- Drizzle some olive oil over the aubergine slices and then grill them in on a sizzlingly hot griddle pan for a minute on each side
- Now the fun bit. In 6 mini individual dishes, or just in one larger dish if you would prefer, begin assembling the dish. Start with the tomatoes and turkey on the base, then the aubergine, then a piece of mozzarella. Then repeat the sequence once more
- Combine the parmesan with the breadcrumbs in a bowl, then sprinkle over the top and they are done. Freeze those that you don’t want to use straight away, uncooked.
- They need about 30 minutes in the oven. The cheese and breadcrumbs should be golden and bubbling with the rich tomato sauce. Sprinkle over the remaining fresh basil leaves and serve with a big, dressed, green salad and a slab of ciabatta
I love aubergines and don’t use them enough. My uncle does a delicious salad where he steams the aubergines whole, then cubes them and tosses them in a soy, olive oil and honey dressing with chopped fresh chillies, sesame seeds and loads of torn fresh mint, whilst they are still warm. They literally suck up all the flavours as they cool.