aubergine lasagne with feta

Lindsey Bareham

This was my choice at a modest café hidden away in a Corsican seaside backstreet. A plump, large aubergine had been sliced, cooked and reassembled with a thick tomato sauce, local ham and cheese and a hint of basil. It was served with rigatoni and salad, but both are unnecessary.

serves 2, prep 30 min, cook 35 min

2 medium aubergines
4 tbsp olive oil
1 pointed red pepper
A clove of garlic
4 vine tomatoes
4 slices of prosciutto
100g Greek feta
A handful of basil leaves
4 tbsp finely grated parmesan

Heat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Slice the aubergine lengthways, approx 6mm thick. Oil a shallow roasting tin and lay out the slices. Use a pastry brush to paint the exposed side with oil. Roast for 10 min, turn and cook for a further 10-15 min until buttery soft. Meanwhile, halve the pepper lengthways and discard the stalk, white filament and seeds. Chop in small pieces. Soften in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a lidded frying/sauté pan with a generous pinch of salt.

Peel and finely chop the garlic. Chop the tomatoes. Add both to the pan. Cover and cook, briskly stirring occasionally for about 15 min until the veg is soft, the skins lifting. Force them through a sieve, scraping underneath so nothing is wasted, into a small saucepan. Simmer until thick like ketchup.

Reassemble the aubergines in a gratin dish that fits them snugly, layering them with the torn prosciutto, thin slices of feta, 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce and torn basil, and ending the layers with a generous coating of tomato. Finish with parmesan. Bake at 200C/gas 6 for 20 min or until the top is crusty, the lasagne somewhat squashed and oozing. Offer baguette for mopping.