- 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 x 400g cans diced Italian tomatoes with oregano and basil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Olive oil, for shallow frying
- 125g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
- Step 1 : Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan). Place eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle all over with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Step 2 : Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, basil and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir well. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Step 3 : Add enough oil to a large frying pan to cover base. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, in batches, adding extra oil to pan when necessary. Drain on paper towel.
- Step 4 : Spoon 1/2 cup tomato mixture over base of a 10 cup-capacity ovenproof dish. Arrange one-third eggplant over tomato. Sprinkle with one-third cheese. Continue layering, finishing with cheese. Season. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves.