1 hour preparation time and 40 minutes cooking time
Blend some of the tomato sauce with the aubergine for your baby to eat.
Let the bake cool and cut it into small pieces for your baby to eat with her hands.
1kg aubergine, sliced thinly lengthways
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 x quantity of Classic Tomato Sauce
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
400g freshly torn mozzarella cheese
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
This typical vegetarian Italian dish is layered like lasagne but made with aubergine instead of pasta. And check out the new issue of M&B out 9th July with our interview with Michela Chiappa, one of the sisters behind this delicious recipe.
Place a layer of aubergine slices on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and cover with kitchen paper. Continue layering the aubergine in this way, finishing with kitchen paper. Weigh the aubergines down using something heavy, like a saucepan filled with water, and leave for 30 minutes so that the aubergine can release its bitter juices.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas 4.
Brush each aubergine slice with a little oil and heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the aubergine, a few slices at a time,
until cooked through and golden on both sides. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed.
Once cooked, place the aubergine on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
Heat the Classic Tomato Sauce and stir through the cayenne pepper. Cover the bottom of a 30cm x 20cm baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the sauce.
Top with a layer of aubergine and lightly spread with 4 tablespoons of sauce. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat these layers (aubergine, sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan) until you have used all the aubergine, finishing with a layer of sauce and Parmesan (no mozzarella). Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
For a healthier option, lightly brush the aubergine slices with oil and cook them on a griddle instead of frying them.
This recipe is taken from Simply Italian: Cooking At Home With The Chiappa Sisters by Michela, Emanuela and Romina Chiappa (Penguin, £20).