A hearty Italian meal with added smokey flavour from the pesto, to reduce the time spent making this dish you can prepare the tomato sauce in advance and keep if refrigerated.
Hand blender or food processor
5 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 White onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 Tins of chopped tomatoes
1tsp Dried oregano
3 Aubergines, stalks removed, cut lengthways into 1.5cm slices
75g Dried breadcrumbs
2tsp of Salt
3 Balls of mozzarella, approx. 375g in total, cut into rounds
Small bunch of fresh basil
100g Parmesan, finely grated
Lay the aubergine slices on a tray and salt, if possible, place a heavy object on top of them. Leave for an hour to release excess water.
Place a medium saucepan on a medium heat combine the onions, garlic and tomatoes and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, stir through a jar of Oak-smoked Paprika & Tomato Pesto and using a hand-blender, or food processor, blitz into a smooth consistency.
Heat oven to 200C.
Remove weight from aubergines and dry with kitchen towel. Drizzle the olive oil over all the slices of aubergine, turn to coat both sides and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until soft and beginning to colour. Remove from oven and turn oven to 175C.
In a deep, medium sized baking dish place a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom then layer with aubergine slices, don’t worry about gaps. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and add a few slices of mozzarella and basil leaves. Repeat these steps two more times or until ingredients are used up. Finish the top layer with the parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven at for 40 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling at the edges. Rest for 10-15mintues before serving.