This tasty recipe is a firm favourite in my house and is vegetarian.
The Pecorino cheese adds a lot of flavour and a creaminess to the dish.
3 medium to large Aubergines
Vegetable oil for brushing
400g can of plum or cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped OR 3 heaped teaspoons of Very Lazy Garlic
4 sprigs of fresh spearmint or fresh mint
1 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper
200g Ricotta cheese
100g Pecorino cheese (this is like parmesan but with added creaminess!)
Baking tin: I used 30 x 20 cm but a smaller tin would work too.
Cut the aubergines into slices about 15mm wide.
Then put them in a plastic bag and add one 1 tbsp of salt. (Don’t worry this gets rinsed off later.)
Seal the bag up and squish the contents around in your hands so that the aubergine gets covered in salt.
Pierce the bottom of the bag several times and leave it on a draining board or in a sink for about half an hour.
As a result a liquid will come from the aubergines.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce:
Cook the garlic over a medium heat in a pan for a couple of minutes ensuring it doesn’t burn. Then add the tinned tomatoes and butter and leave for just a few minutes on a low heat. Add the chopped mint leaves (not the stalk) and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 C or 170 C Fan
Rinse the salt off the aubergines and place on kitchen towel. Then brush them with the vegetable oil and place in a layer on the bottom of the tin. You may have enough for two layers. Pour the tomato mixture over it.
Optional: I added some tomato puree mixed with half a cup of hot water at this stage to add more liquid but this is optional depending on how saucy you want it.
Add the Ricotta in small dollops and push it down into the tomato sauce. Then sprinkle the grated Pecorino on top.
Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 mins. When you can easily put a fork through the aubergine it is done.