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Aubergine and Mozzarella Stacks from an Italian Summer

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This is a simple yet dashing recipe, that uses the typical ingredients of an Italian summer – aubergines, mozzarella and tomatoes.

SERVES: 4
PREPARATION: 30 minutes
COOKING: 25 minutes

aubergine_and_mozzarella_stacks.jpgINGREDIENTS

3 aubergines, cut into 16 disks
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 packages of mozzarella cheese, around 125 gr each, sliced
2 cups tomato sauce
8 sprigs of basil

FOR TOMATO SAUCE

250 gr fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped
1 pinch sugar
1 pinch salt
1 clove garlic
2 tbls olive oil
1 sprig basil
 

PREPARATION

Prepare the tomato sauce: fry the garlic in the olive oil in a pan or clay pot until slightly golden, discard and add the tomatoes. If you don't confide in their ripeness, add a little sugar. Cook over low heat until the tomatoes come slightly undone, around 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and a sprig of basil. I like cherry tomatoes and I leave their skin on, but if you prefer, once done, you can pass them through strainer for a thinner sauce. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the aubergines you have two ways: frying or grilling. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking dish or sheet with a little oil or some parchment paper.

To fry, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the aubergine slices. Fry for 8 minutes, turning once. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Arrange half on the baking dish, ready to assemble.

To grill, heat a heavy griddle and when very hot, add the aubergine slices. Grill until the bottom of the slice is slightly toasted, then turn and grill the other side. This will take around 8 minutes. Arrange half on the baking dish, ready to assemble.

Place a slice of mozzarella on each slice of aubergine and top with a teaspoon of tomato sauce. Cover with another aubergine slice, then again add a slice of mozzarella and some more tomato sauce.

Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the basil sprigs. Serve warm. Can be served as an appetizer or as a main course.

Buon appetito!
 

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