Aubergine parmigiana – cheesy baked aubergines – is one of those dishes that seems to take forever to make. This is largely because you have to slice up a load of aubergines and grill or fry them in batches before you can then assemble and bake the dish in the oven. This is a quick and easy version using the microwave.
Instead of grilling slices of aubergine, simply use the microwave. In about 3 minutes the microwave is surprisingly good at putting out tender slices of aubergine ready to layer up in a dish with a rich sauce and plenty of cheese. You won’t get the nice browning on the aubergine you would from under the grill, but once baked you’ll never tell the difference.
The sauce is easy as well, simply sauté some onion then throw the other ingredients in!
Layered with a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella, and some breadcrumbs, this is a much quicker version of the Italian classic! You could always use parmesan instead of the cheddar, of course, but this version makes the dish slightly cheaper to prepare for an everyday dinner.
Easy Aubergine Parmigiana
- 3 Aubergines medium
- 400g 2 Tinned tomatoes chopped
- 125 g Mature cheddar or Parmesan/Grana Padano
- 125 g Mozarella grated
- 100 g Breadcrumbs panko
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- ½ Onion medium
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper ground
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ¼ tsp Thyme dried
- ½ tsp Oregano dried
- 1 bunch Basil fresh
- Preheat the oven to 200°c or 180°c (fan). Cut the aubergines into 1cm slices. Arrange on a large plate and microwave on high for about 3 minutes until tender. You may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and beginning to take on a little colour, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for a minute or so until the puree begins to darken.
- To the sauce pan, add the chopped tinned tomatoes, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and dried herbs and stir well. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low, allowing the sauce to thicken, approximately 10 minutes.
- Assemble the aubergine parmigiana in a baking dish. A 20cm square dish works well. Add a layer of sauce to the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of aubergines, then roughly chopped basil, then cheese and breadcrumbs. Repeat.
- Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until bubbling and the top is crisp and browned. Allow to cool a little and serve.