Aubergine Parmigiana (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)

14686662_10206187721605699_72348205_nThis classic northern Italian recipe is a great way to serve aubergines. By layering them with Parmesan and tomatoes and then baking them you get an absolutely moreish, scrumptious vegetable dish. Great served with all sorts of roasted meats and with roasted fish as well.

 

Ingredients

3 large aubergines

olive oil

1 onion , peeled and finely chopped

½ bulb spring garlic , or 1 clove of regular garlic, peeled and finely sliced

1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano

2×400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes , or 1kg fresh ripe tomatoes

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

a little wine vinegar

1 large handful fresh basil

3 large handfuls Parmesan cheese , freshly grated

2 handfuls dried breadcrumbs

a little fresh oregano , leaves chopped

150 g buffalo mozzarella , optional

Method

  1. First things first: remove the stalks from the aubergines, slice them up into 1cm thick slices, and put to one side. Whether you’re using a griddle pan or a barbecue, get it really hot. Meanwhile, put 2 or 3 lugs of olive oil into a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic has a tiny bit of colour. If you’re using tinned tomatoes, break them up, and if you’re using fresh tomatoes (which will obviously taste sweeter and more delicious, if they’re in season), very quickly prick each one and put them into a big pan of boiling water for 40 seconds. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them into a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds, then remove the skins, carefully squeeze out the pips and cut up the flesh. Add the tomato flesh or tinned tomatoes to the onion, garlic and oregano. Give the mixture a good stir, then put a lid on the pan and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grill the aubergines on both sides until lightly charred – you may have to do them in batches, as they probably won’t all fit into your griddle pan in one go. As each batch is finished, remove them to a tray and carry on grilling the rest until they’re all nicely done. When the tomato sauce is reduced and sweet, season it carefully with salt, pepper and a tiny swig of wine vinegar, and add the basil. You can leave the sauce chunky or you can purée it.
  3. Get yourself an earthenware type dish (25 x 12–15cm). Put in a small layer of tomato sauce, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of aubergines. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with a little sauce and another good sprinkling of Parmesan. I like to toss the breadcrumbs in olive oil with a little freshly chopped oregano and sprinkle them on top of the Parmesan. Sometimes the dish is served with torn-up mozzarella on top, which is nice too.
  4. Place the dish in the oven and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for half an hour until golden, crisp and bubbly. It’s best eaten straight away, but it can also be served cold. You can use the same method substituting courgettes or fennel for the aubergines – both are delicious. But do try making it with aubergines – you’ll love it!

Lasagna al pesto !

Avete mai provato la lasagna al pesto! ? Leggete il nostro articolo e scoprirete cose molto interessanti!

imgresVenire a studiare in Italia non significa solamente imparare la lingua italiana. Significa anche saperla applicare e poterla utilizzare in qualsiasi contesto di vita quotidiana. Per questo, ad Accademia Studioitalia, ogni settimana organizziamo lezioni di cucina nelle quali i nostri studenti non solo utilizzano l’italiano come veicolo di comunicazione ma imparano, realmente, come cucinare i piatti più famosi della nostra tradizione. Perché? Perché al loro ritorno a casa, nei paesi d’origine, sapranno sorprendere i propri affetti più stretti mostrando la loro bravura non solo nel parlare ma anche nel coccolare con il cibo coloro i quali se lo meritano!

Abbiamo anche pensato che questa ricetta possa essere utile non solo ai nostri attuali studenti ma anche a tutti coloro i quali seguono le nostre attività online o hanno partecipato ai nostri corsi. Preparate carta e penna e che la ricetta sia con voi!

Studying in Italy doesn’t mean only learning the language. It’s about being able to use it in any life contexts. That is exactly why Accademia Studioitalia, every week, organizes Kitchen classes where our students are able to practice the language while learning how to cook one of the most famous and delicious dish from the traditional italian cousine. This week our teacher Valentina showed us how to prepare home made “Lasagne al Pesto”.

But don’t worry, if by any chance, you’ve missed our lesson, do not rush online to find a good recipe. We’ve already tought about you and here you will find all the information you need to surprise your beloved ones.

Ingredients

  • 190g Pesto
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 12 fresh lasagne sheets
  • splash of milk
  • 85g Parmesan, grated (or vegetarian alternative)
  • 50g pine nuts
  • green salad, to serve (optional)

Preparation

1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the pesto, half the mascarpone and 250ml water

(or vegetable stock if you have some) in a pan. Heat and mix until smooth and bubbling.

Add the herbs and season.

2. Place a third of the pesto mixture into a baking dish roughly 18 x 25cm. Top with 4 lasagne

sheets, then repeat with 2 more layers of sauce and lasagne sheets, finishing with a layer of

pasta.

3. Mix enough milk into the remaining mascarpone to make a white sauce consistency, season,

then pour over the top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and pine nuts.

4. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges. Scatter over

the reserved basil leaves and serve with a green salad, if you like.

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