For 6-8 serving you need

2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped

2-3 plump cloves of garlic

20ml canola oil

2 cans chopped tomatoes

5ml oregano

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2-3 medium-sized aubergines

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

To finish the dish:

20ml finely shredded fresh basil leaves

125ml finely grated cheese – Parmesan, Pecorino or Strong Cheddar or about 8 slices mozzarella

Additional slices mozzarella for topping

30ml dried breadcrumbs (optional)

To prepare

First get the tomato mix going

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 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 4-6mm thick either lengthwise or in rounds

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.

To assemble

Select a shallow ovenproof dish no deeper than 5cm.

Spread half the tomato mixture on the base. Arrange a layer of the aubergine slices on top and sprinkle with cheese and the fresh basil.

Add the remaining tomato and  another layer of aubergine.

Top with slices of mozzarella or a mixture of rated cheeses.

Finally sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.

You can prepare this dish up to this stage a day ahead of time.


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

Serve as a vegetarian main course or as an accompaniment to grilled or roast meats, poultry or fish.

Small individual dishes can be served as a starter with crusty Italian bread such as Ciabatta.