10,000 views - and some Parmigiana

October 12, 2015

Yesterday was kind of an exciting day. I hit 10,000 views!

Admittedly it's taken me two years and 60 posts - and most of the clicks are probably either mine or my mother's - but who am I to argue with official figures?

So, to celebrate, I did something really Italian... I made food. 
After finding out that this year doesn't actually count towards my degree, I decided my Monday afternoon should be filled with something more interesting than work: reading Fifty Shades of Grey in Italian - for educational purposes, of course - and cooking celebratory Parmigiana. I've tried to cook this before, several times, but it's always turned out watery and never had the sumptuous, cheesy taste it should. But apparently Italy is rubbing off on me, because I think I've cracked it. 

Basically, Parmigiana is like a vegetarian lasagne; layers of aubergine interspersed with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. It's super quick, easy and (sort of) healthy - just a few ingredients make a delicious meal. (Which I guess Italian food is all about, really.)

2 large aubergines
1 onion 
2 cloves garlic
Grana Padano/parmesan
Basil (optional)
Chilli flakes (optional)
Mozarella (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.

 So firstly, and here is the big secret that I've missed before, cut the aubergines into 1cm thick slices and place them under the grill.

Do both sides for a couple of minutes, then set them aside. This - I think - is what dries them out and stops the dish becoming a few old vegetables soaking in a bowl of water when you pull it out of the oven.

Slice the onion and garlic and fry in olive oil for a couple of minutes. I also added some basil, for flavour and chilli, because I don't really eat anything without it, but that's totally up to you.

Add the passata and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

 Grab a large tray, and put a thin coating of tomato sauce in the bottom, followed by a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Then lay the aubergine slices in a layer.

Keep layering up the ingredients like this, until they're all used up.
 I then added mozzarella on top, which is a good addition because it goes all crispy and chewy in the oven. Yum, basically.

Then put it in the oven and leave for 30 mins. Check it then - it should be soft all the way through and the cheese on top should be crispy - if it's not, put it in for another ten.

Then its all done! Here is some hideously amateur food photography for you to enjoy. My neighbour on the balcony opposite stared at me like he'd never seen anything so funny when I took it out for a photoshoot. Apparently food blogging isn't a common sight over here...

Ciao x

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