Aubergine parmigiana


This iconic Italian dish is a classic for a reason – the incredibly generous amount of Parmesan that sticks layers of silky fried aubergines, breadcrumbs and tomato sauce together results in something incredibly indulgent that only requires a handful of ingredients. Chef Ben Tish amps up the luxury by including creamy burrata, before serving slices of the parmigiana on a bed of creamy cheese sauce. The ultimate comfort food.

First published in 2020






Place the tinned tomatoes in a saucepan over a medium heat and slowly reduce by half
Meanwhile, slice the aubergines lengthwise into 2cm-thick strips
Heat a heavy-based large frying pan over a medium heat, pour in some olive oil and, when hot, gently fry the aubergines slices in batches until they are all tender and golden brown. You will need to add extra oil as you go as the aubergines soak it up quite quickly. When the slices are fried, season well and drain on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Once the tomato sauce has reduced by half and all your aubergine slices are cooked, you’re ready to assemble the parmigiana. Rub the sides and base of an ovenproof dish with olive oil and layer the bottom with aubergine slices, then a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a few basil leaves, followed by a ladle of tomato sauce, a burrata ripped into pieces and a handful of Parmesan
  • 250g of dry white breadcrumbs
  • 4 burrata, weighing 120g each
  • 1 bunch of basil, leaves picked
  • 250g of Parmesan, finely grated
Ensure everything is evenly spread and then continue to layer up this way until you finish with a layer of aubergine. Be sure to save some basil leaves, breadcrumbs and Parmesan to sprinkle over at the end
Transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the parmigiana is bubbling away and the top layer of aubergine begins to crisp. Leave to rest for 20 minutes once cooked
While the parmigiana rests, make the sauce. Pour the double cream into a saucepan and gently simmer until reduced by half. Whisk in the grated Parmesan, season with salt and pepper then keep warm, stirring occasionally
When ready to serve, preheat a grill to high. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs and a little more Parmesan over the parmigiana, then place under the grill to cook for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, fry the reserved basil leaves in a little oil until crisp
To serve, pour the sauce on the base of each serving dish, then top with a slice of the parmigiana. Grate over a final flourish of Parmesan, then top with the fried basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil

Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Ben Tish has a stellar track record for creating dishes that, quite simply, everyone wants to eat. After years of channelling his love of Mediterranean food he's now chef director across Cubitt House's various pubs and restaurants, proving just how versatile his talents are.

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