Sometimes you come across something so beautiful on the internet it becomes impossible not to share. Not only am I sharing this stunning little video, but its the source of inspiration behind this recipe.
I spend a good chunk of my life on the internet looking at gorgeous food content, and I came across this video on Pinterest and immidiately pinned it to my Foodstyling board. Its filmed in Paris and directed and produced by the very talented Michael Roulier & Philippe Lhomme from foodfilm. Thank you for kindly letting me include it here.
As a food stylist that works mainly in TV, I get really excited about beautiful food films like this, and have been fortunate to have worked with some incredible directors in my career. You can check out more of the foodfilm work by clicking here and their Vimeo feed here.
I made the recipe more or less exactly as per the video because it looked so damn tasty, even though I am used to this dish including a tomato sauce element and no meatballs.
There are recipes that involve dipping the aubergine into an egg was and crumbs and then frying them, and there are recipes – which I prefer – that include grilling the aubergine before layering it in the dish. I find this lighter and more flavourful.
This recipe was tasty, but next time I make it I will adapt it as per my notes below, and I will include a tomato sauce layer similar to a previous recipe for parmigiana di melenzane with chorizo (ridiculously tasty). I think it needs that. I would also leave out the meatballs as I like this to be vegetarian, and perhaps add more grilled aubergine slices instead, and I would reduce the quantity of cheese to make it a bit lighter.
Anyway, here goes: (thanks Lize for help in translating parts of the recipe)
recipe | serves 4 – 6
- 3 – 4T olive oil to brush the aubergine / melanzane
- 600 – 700g aubergine, sliced lenghtways (about 2 large aubergine)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 1T chopped parsley
- 1T chopped thyme
- 1T crushed garlic
- 300g buffalo mozzarella (fior di lattte) cut into slices – I think 1 x ball of 150g would be enough
- 200g ricotta
- 250g meatballs made from half this recipe
- 4 eggs beaten
- 80g Parmesan cheese, grated
Make all the components before assembling the dish.
Make the meatballs using half the quantity in this recipe and set aside. make the meatballs quite small to get about 16 out of the mix.
Brush the aubergine slices with the olive oil and fry on a griddle pan until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan and fry the breadcrumbs, herbs and garlic until just starting to turn golden. Set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 180C and start assembling the dish in the following order:
- brush the oven dish with olive oil (I used a 24cm x 12 cm dish)
- Spread half the crumbs over the bottom of the dish and flatten
- layer half the aubergine slices
- place the mozzarella in a single layer
- cover this with the ricotta
- evenly place the meatballs in a layer
- sprinkle over half the grated Parmesan cheese
- spoon over 1/3 of the beaten egg
- layer the remaining aubergine slices
- spread over the remaining crumbs
- sprinkle the remaining cheese
- spoon over the remaining egg
Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve immediately with a salad.
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Check out a previous recipe for Parmigiana di melenzane with chorizo