Project Description

For 6-8 servings you need

A tomato sugo (stew)

2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped

2-3 plump cloves of garlic

20ml canola oil

2 cans chopped tomatoes

5ml oregano

30ml tomato paste

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

The aubergines

2-3 medium-sized aubergines

You can either go the low calorie route by painting each slice with oil and oven baking them on a baking tray at 180°C for 15-20 minutes

OR you will need

30ml cake flour

3ml ground black pepper

3ml dried oregano

3ml salt

1egg, lightly whisked

Approximately 1cm canola or any neutral vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan

For the rest of the dish you need

1 small chicken breast per person or 2 breast for every 3 servings

Seasoning for the chicken (salt and pepper)

Lightly oiled grill or frying pan

A handful of fresh basil leaves, reserve about 8 leaves and finely slice the rest

200ml finely grated cheese – Parmesan, Pecorino or Strong Cheddar or about 8 slices mozzarella; I like using a mix of equal parts Parmesan & Mozzarella

To prepare

First get the tomato mix going (you can make this a day ahead if you like)

Heat the oil and add the chopped onions. Lightly sauté them until they appear glassy but not browning, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, add the tomatoes, the tomato paste and the oregano. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 20 minutes. The mixture must be thick. Season to taste. I never add sugar to tomato mixtures as I find our tinned tomatoes are good quality and do not require sugar.

While the tomato is simmering prepare the aubergines

Slice the aubergines about 10mm thick, preferable lengthwise

Prepare them by baking as instructed above OR

Place the flour and seasoning in a plastic bag. Add the aubergine slices and shake it well. (This is the best method to lightly flour and vegetables or meat)

Heat the oil in a frying pan.

Dip the individual floured  slices in the egg and then place it in the hot oil. Fry for about a minute on each side. Watch the oil temperature to prevent burning.

Place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

The chicken

Slice the chicken breasts through horizontally and then flatten them lightly with a mallet. Season the breasts.

Lightly fry them for about 2 minutes on each side, If they are slightly underdone in the middle, don’t stress, they will cook through later! Do not overcook at this stage, you don’t want dry chicken!

Set them aside

To assemble

Select a shallow ovenproof dish no deeper than 5cm.

Arrange a layer of the aubergine slices on the base

Spoon over a layer of the tomato mixture

Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the tomato

Sprinkle over the basil

Place another layer of tomato over the chicken

Finally sprinkle with the cheese

Bake at 200°C for 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling hot.

Sprinkle over a fresh fresh basil leaves when serving.

Serve as is, Italian style, or with a green vegetable

If you like you can add a carb element in the form of baby potatoes or a flat pasta such as tagliatelle