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Melanzane is a wonderful Italian dish that is perfect to serve up for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It’s a delicious combination of rich tomato sauce, melted mozzarella and fragrant basil, topped off with a crunchy parmesan and breadcrumb topping.


Serves 4




6 aubergines
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 400g god quality chopped tomatoes 3 150g fresh mozzarella balls
1 handful of fresh basil leaves
50g breadcrumbs
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper


Here’s how:


Cut the top and bottom off the aubergines to make it easier to slice.
Cut long ways down the aubergine to create 1/2 thick slices, then lay them out onto a chopping board.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Pre heat a non stick grill pan and cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes, until soft and you can see some grill marks
Once all the slices of aubergines are cooked lay them out on a chopping board. Slice the mozzarella and place one slice on each piece of cooked aubergine.
Top with a basil leaf then roll up to encase the cheese and herb.
Place a ladle of the tinned tomatoes into the bottom of an oven proof dish, we used a 20cm square deep dish for this recipe.
Season the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper, then lay the rolled up aubergine on top of the tomatoes.
Add the remaining tinned tomatoes on top of the aubergine and season again with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Top the bake with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan before cooking in the oven 170c for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with a delicious Italian red wine such as a Chianti or a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo


Recipe by Peter Sidwell


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