A fabulous Meat Aubergine Parmigiana recipe
I love aubergines, especially when they are well cooked, soft and subtle in taste – easy to blend with a sauce, a curry, other vegetables, cheese and more. Aubergines are healthy; high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The presence of aubergines in this Meat Aubergine Parmigiana makes the recipe a lighter version than that of lasagna with layers of pasta.
However, the highlight of this recipe is the meat ragu. It’s simply delicious! The cherry on the top is the melted parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Meat Aubergine Parmigiana; layers of beef ragu, soft aubergines, melted mozzarella cheese, and topped with melted parmesan cheese!
The story behind the recipe
A Chilean friend came to London and we hung out over drinks and good food, as we always do when we see each other. He is a great cook, by the way. While talking about food, hungry and waiting for our food at a restaurant, he mentioned an aubergine lasagna that he always makes and explained the recipe. Soon after, I made his recipe and fell in love with the meat ragu. I decided to make some changes to his original recipe in order to make it lighter. I replaced a rich white sauce with mozzarella cheese. I loved the result and thought I should share it.
Meat Aubergine Parmigiana Recipe
500 gr ground beef or lamb
½ carrot, diced
10 cm celery, diced
½ cup red wine
1 onion, chopped
800 gr canned peeled plum tomatoes, crushed
250 gr mozzarella cheese, cut in big chunks
400 gr water
~ 65 gr Parmesano Reggianno cheese, grated
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon dried oregano
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven at 180 C or 350 F
- Rinse aubergines and cut lengthwise ~ 1cm thick.
- Pan-fry with olive oil at medium heat until golden on both sides.
- Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
- In a saucepan, colour chopped onions at high heat with olive oil.
- Add diced carrot, celery and stir.
- Add ground beef or lamb and cook well while stirring.
- Pour red wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
- When you can no longer smell the alcohol in the wine, add honey, spices and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix well and add crushed tomatoes and water.
- Cook uncovered in medium-high heat until the texture is creamy but dry. It should take about 25 minutes.
Mounting the Meat Aubergine Parmigiana
I tried two different moulds, one narrower and higher than the other. Both worked well.
- Add some olive oil at the base of the mould and cover with aubergine slices.
- Add a generous layer of meat ragu.
- Place mozzarella pieces on top.
- Cover with another layer of aubergines.
- Add one last layer of meat ragu.
- Place more mozzarella pieces and add grated Parmesano Reggiano on top.
- Place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Layer of pan-fried aubergines and meat ragu on top Mozzarella cheese on top of meat ragu layer Final layer of mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese Meat Aubergine Parmigiana out of the oven, cooling down
- Lamb is richer in fat, therefore has more flavour.
- Meat Aubergine Parmigiana, re-heated the following day tastes even better.
- The freshest and highest quality ingredients you use, the better this recipe will taste.
Enjoy a big piece of Meat Aubergine Parmigiana with green salad; it will add freshness and balance to the meat and the cheese.
I hope you like it! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.