Italian aubergine basil and tomato bake
Sink your serving spoon into this impressive but simple Italian main course that’s bursting with sunshine colours and flavours
1 hour 10 minutes
- Low-calorie cooking spray
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- ¼ tsp sweetener
- 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large aubergines, cut into 1.5cm-thick slices
- 2 large handfuls of basil leaves
- 120g Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
Spray a frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray, add the garlic and gently stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sweetener, chilli flakes, dried herbs and cinnamon stick and simmer for 20-25 minutes until thickened. Season well.
Meanwhile, spray the aubergine slices lightly on both sides with low-calorie cooking spray, season and cook on a preheated ridged griddle, in batches, turning a few times until completely tender (you could also do this in a frying pan). It’s important to get the aubergine as tender as possible, so give it time.
Remove the cinnamon stick from the frying pan and put a few spoonfuls of the sauce in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Cover with one-third of the aubergine slices and half of the basil leaves then repeat, finishing with a layer of aubergine.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the aubergine, sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.