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3 large, firm eggplant, cut into ½cm rounds
1 onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1kg fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped or 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
30g (handful) fresh basil leaves, torn
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar (optional)
50g (approx) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
Salt and cracked pepper
Preheat the oven 180degC.
Begin by making the tomato sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy based pot over moderate heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, herbs, vinegar and sugar if using. Continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Drizzle olive oil over the base of a large oven tray (you may need two or do in batches).
Spread the eggplant slices over the tray and coat in the oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and golden. Remove and cool slightly.
To assemble the parmigiana. Begin by smothering a little tomato sauce over the base of deep-sided 20cm diameter oven dish.
Create a layer of eggplant over the tomato sauce, sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, next spoon over more tomato sauce and repeat until you end up with the final layer being eggplant, scatter over the last of the parmesan and breadcrumbs, drizzle over a little olive oil and bake for 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
Cool slightly before eating.