Melanzane Parmigiana with Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

  • Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: easy

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An excellent way to turn a popular Italian slow food standard into an easy and quicker family classic.

What you need

1 x 350g jar of Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

4 medium/ large aubergines (about 1500g in total)

125g light or regular mozzarella

100g dried white breadcrumbs

100g grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

To serve:

Arborio rice

Green salad

Dad's Recipe Tales

Here at WDC, we are always prepared to roll up our sleeves and start our favourite Italian meals from scratch. But we too have busy lives and sometimes appreciate a head start. So, what better tip than to try a ‘no drama’ version of melanzane Parmigiana using Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce.

The sauce

Open a jar of Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce and have a look. It’s crammed full of authentic Mediterranean flavours: carrots, onion, leeks, courgettes, green and red peppers all bound together with tomatoes and basil. Amazingly, each serving can provide 2 of your 5 a day.

The hard work of the sauce has been done by Dolmio – meaning all we have to worry about is pre-cooking the melanzane (aubergines), constructing the dish for the oven, and then letting the Dolmio sauce work its magic.

For my money this new product by Dolmio is much tastier than your average readymade. Not only that, all four Dolmio 7 Vegetables sauces can be an inspiration for a whole raft of delicious Italian meals.

A healthier melanzane Parmigiana?

Those familiar with traditional methods for making this Italian dish, will know that most recipes instruct the cook to fry the aubergine slices before baking. The problem with this method is that aubergines love oil. They’re like sponges and will soak up any oil offered to them – unfortunately, this can also create the illusion that they need extra glugs of oil whilst frying! The WDC hack, is to hold back the fat; lightly brushing the aubergine slices with olive oil and then baking them in a hot oven until browned.

Some melanzane Parmigiana recipes also dial-up the calories with the addition of cheese. I like a little cheese in this dish, but I’ve only used 125g of (light) mozzarella and a small amount of grated parmesan, resulting in a surprisingly healthy melanzane Parmigiana.

A new family classic

Considering the time and fuss that is saved through the convenience of Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sun Ripened Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce, I think this recipe is an excellent way to turn a popular Italian slow food standard into a (quicker) and easy family classic. And with all those 7 vegetables in the sauce, plus of course, the tender stacks of aubergine, the recipe also makes a tasty vegetarian meal.

Why not follow the link and get your next jar of Dolmio 7 Vegetables Sauce for 50% off on the Shopmium app here:

 All thoughts and opinions are my own and not those of Dolmio

How Dad Cooked It

This recipe is based on a Parmigiana I used to have for lunch in an Italian dine-in and takeaway café in the shadow of the Shard in Southeast London (NB: the Italians often shorten the name of the dish to just ‘Parmigiana’). Their Parmigiana was remarkably tasty, and easily provided the sustenance for a young commuter working long hours in London. Their version was quite firm, but still had plenty of sauce. Almost as delightful as the Parmigiana was a lovely mound of rice to help mop-up the sauce. But what really struck me with this dish was that the rice was Italian risotto rice cooked as if it was plain rice – something I now do often, especially with Parmigiana.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C, Gas 6.
  2. Wash the aubergines, dry, and then trim the stalk end and the opposite end with straight sectional cuts. The hold the aubergine lengthwise and slice off a little of each side. Then cut 5 slices lengthwise along the aubergine with a long sharp knife. Each slice should be about 1 cm thick – try to get even thickness slices. Continue like this with the rest of the aubergines.
  3. Fill a ramekin or small cup with good olive oil (not extra virgin). Get two large baking trays or shallow oven pans and lay the aubergines out – some overlapping is fine. Then brush each side of the aubergines lightly with the oil. Finally, season the slices with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Bake the aubergines in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the slices are just starting to lightly brown. Turn the slices once during cooking. When they are done, remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.

  1. Use a medium size oven dish. Spread some of the sauce evenly on the base of the dish using a spoon. Add a layer of aubergines and spread a little more sauce evenly over the aubergines. Slice the mozzarella thinly and add half the cheese slices to the layer – dotting them over the aubergines evenly. Continue in this way using the sauce evenly between the layers (and the remaining mozzarella). Aim for half a jar of sauce per pan of aubergines (i.e. two cooked aubergines) with perhaps a little more sauce as a final layer.
  2. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling and the centre looks very hot.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a large bowl and season with black pepper. Add two teaspoons of olive oil and mix well with your fingers. Layer this evenly on top of the aubergines. Return to the oven and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the topping is evenly and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with the foil and rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with plain steamed rice (ideally using Arborio rice) and a dressed green salad.

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