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Beautiful murals in the old Palace

Aubergines are always abundant on the island and I love this quick and easy to prepare classic North Italian dish using ingredients popular in Southern Italy. I am making it today with a bit of a local twist and I am crumbling up with fresh soft gbejna cheese sandwiched between the eggplant layers . So many people assume that aubergines need to be fried in oil but this is really not necessary at all. I just wipe a non stick pan with some olive oil and cook the aubergine slices until they slightly caramelize to a light golden color. I think this improves the flavor of the dish as does the aubergine skin, although some of my friends insist on peeling them.

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This dish is also a good side to accompany a main meat or fish dish but we are eating it with a light salad for supper ….

You will need :

Eggplant, allow one medium per two portions
Olive oil, just a dash to wipe pan and over dish using kitchen towel

1 can diced tomatoes (polpa di pomodoro)
A bunch of mixed fresh herbs of your choice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Mozzarella, allow 100g per portion
[gbejna] Fresh Soft Gbejna Cheese, allow one per two portions
Parmegiano Reggiano allow -around 75 g for two portions

Dab a piece of kitchen towel with some olive oil and  wipe it onto a non stick pan and an ovenproof dish.

Cut the aubergines into long thin slices and cook over medium heat in the non stick pan until they lightly caramelize.

Put aside on kitchen towel and allow to cool.

Crumble up the goats cheeslets and grate the mozzarella. I do not use fresh mozzarella for this dish to reduce the moisture as you do not want to end up with a soggy texture.

Mix the dried oregano with the diced tomatoes. I do not cook the tomatoes or make a sauce, this is a quick version of the dish that works very well.

Assemble the parmigiana by covering the bottom of the dish with a layer do slices aubergines. Spoon some diced tomatoes onto the aubergines, layer with a light scatter of grated mozarella, then the crumbled cheeselet and some freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano.

Scatter some fresh herbs. Do not overdo it.

Cover with another layer of sliced aubergines, then a layer of mozzarella and finally another scatter some parmegiano regiano on the top.

Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes.

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The final layer of aubergines before adding a layer of mozzarella and covering with grated Parmesan.

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Spooning the dices tomatoes and herbs over the cheeselet layer.

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The aubergines are lightly caramelized in a non stick pan.

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I use Costa D’Oro Olive oil from J Calleja Import Export.  My fresh vegetables come from Big Fresh in Mosta and Oscars Fruit and Vegetables in Paola 

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