A Michelin-starred chef’s guide to turning one simple dish into two
Kitchen Cabinet: Kieran Glennon shares his recipe for aubergine parmigiana
Aubergine parmigiana. File photograph: iStock
When I am at home, I enjoy cooking for my family and tend to cook dishes that can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike.
I enjoy simple, earthy, home-cooked meals that don’t take longer than an hour to prepare, start to finish.
I love the simplicity and rusticity of Italian food, and I enjoy making the most of whatever ingredients are in my pantry.
This is why I am giving you two recipes, which can be made at the same time. The second dish can be finished off and eaten the next day.
For the sauce:
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary (optional)
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
For the parmigiana:
1 packet grated mozzarella
Breadcrumbs and onion for crumble topping (optional)
For the rigatoni pasta (next day’s dinner):
20 fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in four
Half a jar piquillo peppers
500g De Cecco rigatoni
Salt and pepper
Method (for the aubergine parmigiana)
1. Make the sauce. Thinly slice the onion and garlic and sweat them (ie cook over a very low heat) along with the rosemary, in plenty of olive oil, until the onions are transparent and sweet.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Reduce until the sauce is nice and thick. Make sure there is no water running through. Remove the rosemary if using. You won’t need all of the sauce for the parmigiana; it also becomes the base for the next day’s dinner.
3. For the parmigiana, cut the aubergines into slices. Season with salt and place on a plate for one hour so the aubergines release water and bitterness.
4. Pat the aubergines dry. You can either fry the aubergines in olive oil or grill them or barbecue them. I prefer to fry them.
5. Start layering: cooked aubergines, then a sparse layer of tomato sauce, then grated mozzarella, which my children love.
6. I used up a chicken stuffing I had made the day before as a final crumble topping. You can make a quick crumble with chopped onions and breadcrumbs and add this as a fourth layer to your parmigiana, if you wish.
7. Once you are finished layering, cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius. This dish is also nice reheated the next day.
Method (for the rigatoni)
1. Add fresh cherry tomatoes and half a jar of piquillo peppers to the leftover tomato sauce.
2. Cook the pasta al dente and finish cooking it in the sauce, before seasoning with salt and pepper.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome