The traditional recipe of the Parmigiana is made with aubergines, but - as I love doing experiments in the kitchen - I decide to swap aubergines for courgettes and make it lighter as the courgettes are not fried as the recipe asks.
The result was amazing, I literally love it! You can bake it in a big ovenproof tray or - as I do - in small tapas terracotta dishes as an appetiser.
5 green courgettes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 x 125grMozzarella plaits, sliced
1 tbsp shredded basil leaves
5 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped plum tomatoes
Slice the courgettes with a mandoline slicer, the thickness should be 2-3 mm. Sprinkle lightly with salt, place in a colander and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic gently - let them soften but not colour. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and bring to a simmer then turn down the heat. Cover and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes. Take the lid off for the last 10 minutes so the mixture can reduce to a rich, thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now, layer the courgette slices on the base of a large gratin dish, cover with the tomato sauce, then the sliced Mozzarella, then sprinkle with basil and parmesan, repeat the process until you finish all the ingredients, the last layer should be tomato sauce, Mozzarella and parmesan. Drizzle with a little oil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180˚C, until beautifully brown and bubbling.