Healthy Parmigiana recipe with May Simpkin

Healthy Ratatouille Parmigiana

I’ve taken the classic Italian aubergine parmigiana bake and packed in lots more vegetables to make this incredibly healthy dish, that’s also a lot easier to put together than it may look! With a selection of typical ratatouille vegetables, a delicious nutrient-packed tomato sauce and a vegetarian protein source, this impressive looking meal ticks a lot of boxes. Ratatouille parmigiana is a thing…here you go!

It’s even more of a winner when you know you can make it advance, ready for the oven and it’s a great one to freeze too.

Now, this recipe has crossed patriotic/friendship boundaries! Strictly speaking, as a “Parmigiana”, the recipe should include parmesan cheese. This one doesn’t and I risk the wrath of my dear Italian friends! If this is a step too far for you, feel free to sprinkle some grated parmesan over the top just before baking!

Making this delicious parmigiana recipe is easy….

Serves 4-6

  • 3 aubergines, cut into 2cm-thick slices lengthways
  • 4 peppers; red and yellow/orange; cut in half, remove stalk and seeds and then cut each half into 4
  • 3 courgettes, cut into thin 1cm slices lengthways
  • Olive oil for drizzling & sautéing
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g good quality tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 125g mozzarella (not low fat) thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of basil

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the aubergine slices in a large bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. (No need to ensure each slice is coated). Season with salt and pepper and toss the aubergines.

Prepare the peppers and courgettes in the same way.

Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking tray lined with a silicone baking sheet or baking paper.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway until softened and slightly crisp at the edges. The peppers and courgettes will need less time, around 25mins. Remove and set aside until all the vegetables are ready.

Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce:

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 mins until the aromas are released and taking care not to burn it. Add both tins of tomatoes and tomato purée and season well with salt.

Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, or longer if necessary until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now assemble the dish: In a large baking dish, spread a layer of tomato sauce over the bottom. Layer half the vegetables (a mix of aubergine, peppers and courgettes) on top and then drizzle a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Now add a thin layer of tomato sauce, then scatter half the fresh basil leaves on top and dot half the mozzarella slices evenly. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Layer up the remaining mixed vegetables and with another thin layer of tomato sauce and torn basil leaves, finishing with the remaining mozzarella slices and a final layer of tomato sauce.

 

[You can prepare the dish up to this point to cook later. Allow to cool, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or freeze.]

Healthy Ratatouille Parmigiana; a healthier twist on this Italian classic

When you’re ready to serve, put the dish into the oven for 45 minutes or until it is crisp and bubbling. Allow it to rest for 10mins so you can cut it easily and serve with

a giant mixed green salad and some fresh bread to mop up the delicious oozy sauce!

 

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