Aubergine, tomato and ricotta gratin
Servings 4 people
- 800 g aubergine
- olive oil
- 1 onion medium, diced
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 800 g chopped tomatoes
- 250 g ricotta
- 1 egg large, beaten
- 150 ml double cream or mascarpone
- 60 g parmesan grated
- basil leaves small handful
Cut the aubergine into 3mm thick slices lengthways, or if you are using large aubergines, across. If you wish, salt the slices. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and then either fry or bake until golden (probably about 3 minutes on each side).
In the frying pan add 3 tbsp of fresh oil. Fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, tomatoes and a pinch of salt, then cook until most of the water has evaporated away and the tomatoes are thick and saucy – which usually takes about 15 minutes.
Mash the ricotta. Add the egg, cream, a pinch of salt and half the parmesan. Beat into a thick cream – it should pour slowly, so if it is too thick, add a little milk. Taste and add salt, as needed.
Set the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Line the bottom of a small, deep gratin or baking dish with the aubergine slices, season with pepper, rip over some tiny pieces of basil, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and then spoon over half the tomato sauce. Repeat: another aubergine layer, more basil, more parmesan and the rest of the sauce. Finish with a layer of aubergine slices, then spoon over the cream and dust with parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190C/375F/gas 5 for another 15 minutes, or until the surface is set and a rich golden brown. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.