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A Simple Aubergine Parmigiana



As you all know I am a huge fan of the Cirio products.  I use them all the time.  When it comes to anything to do with tomatoes or tinned beans, I always buy Cirio.  That's because I know that they are always going to be really good.  A lot of people don't realise that the flavour of the tomatoes they choose to use in a dish can mean the difference between a dish being so/so and a dish being wow! 


Which is strange really because if you choose to use so/so products when you are cooking, why wouldn't you expect the end result to be so/so as well!   A good quality tinned tomato can make a huge difference to the taste, consistency and quality of any dish. in my opinion Cirio is one of the highest quality brands of tinned tomatoes on the market, produced lovingly in Italy for an authentic Italian flavour.


The rich and flavoursome taste of Cirio means that it should always be the tomato brand of choice when it comes to cooking. Additionally, the health benefits of tomatoes cannot be disputed . . . tinned tomatoes in particular contain more Lycopene than fresh tomatoes, which is good for the heart and has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer. 


That is why when I was recently asked by Cirio, would I like to try out a new recipe from their new cookbook, I put my hands in the air and said, yes, yes, yes!  


This is a flavoursome, home cooked dish bursting with flavours from Italy! It's simple to make, full of flavour and a real crowd-pleaser; Oh and it is a great meal for a meat-free Monday too!


It is also considerably lower in calories than the original version in that there is NO frying involved.  You simply slice the aubergine (eggplant to you North Americans) and grill them on both sides briefly.   


The grilled vegetable is then layered in a baking dish with some of that delicious Cirio Pasatta (which has been mixed with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with a bit of salt), some sliced good mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil leaves.  I used their Passata Rustico.   It is a wonderfully thick and textured Passata that you can actually pick up with a fork!  I could eat it with a spoon myself. Its that good.


Popped into the oven and baked for a brief time, the end result is a delicious dish that is not only delicious but actually quite good for you.  All you would need on the side is some lovely fresh crusty bread (Italian of course!) to mop up all of those lovely tomatoes and perhaps a salad!



*Cirio's Aubergine Parmigiana*
serves 4
 
A healthier version of an Aubergine Parmigiana not requiring any frying.  No faffing about and no mess. From the people at Cirio 

400g Cirio Passata (about 2 cups)
4 aubergines (eggplants)
300g Mozzarella Cheese (10 1/2 ounces)
180g Parmesan Cheese (1 cup)
basil to taste
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste




Preheat the grill.  Wash the aubergines and cut them into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Grill them for one to two minutes per side.   Cut the Mozzarella cheese into slices.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Oil a baking dish.  Flavour the passata wit a pinch of salt and some olive oil.  Alternate layers of the aubergine, tomato sauce, basil and grated parmesan cheese in the prepared baking dish.  Bake for about 20  minutes.  Serve hot.

This really was quite tasty.  I am not quite sure it will replace my love of the "fried" version of Aubergine Parmigiana, but then again with the New Year in the offing,  after all of the indulgence of the holidays, perhaps eating a bit healthier is something I should embrace!

Cirio tomatoes are available at all the grocery shops in the UK.  For more recipes and cooking inspiration and ideas do be sure to check out their recipe pages.

Note - I was sent a range of Pasattas to use in the recipe free of charge, but not required to write a positive review of anything.  I quite simply like Cirio products and as you know, I have never made that a secret!  I do love them!



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Marie Rayner
6 Comments
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6 comments:

  1. Oh YUMMO..I love Cirio..just made a huge spaguetti sauce to freeze,,w/ Cirio passata in it..:)

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    Replies
    1. Their tomatoes are the best Monique! I am their biggest fan! xo

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  2. I made this tonjght, and feel it has great potential. It worked well to prep ahead and then bake in the oven when we got home. However, I found that the mozzarella went a bit like cheese chewing gum when baked. Can you suggest a substitute that might be better - or maybe I cooked it too hot? Perhaps a lower temperature might stop that. Love the aubergines with tomatoes and Parmesan.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sara! Normally I use a four cheese mix which works beautifully. On this particular day I was using "their" recipe, which I will admit is not exactly my favourite way to do this. I think that using a mix of cheese, helps to prevent the Mozzarella from being too rubbery, which it has a tendancy to do when cooked anyways. A four cheese mix would be a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, Edam and Jack cheese. At least that is what is in the one I normally use. Its pretty good!

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    2. Will give that a go - thanks. Happy Christmas.

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