I know what you’re thinking, not another zucchini recipe from Casa Morgana. The zucchini in our garden don’t look like they’re slowing down soon- in fact, they are gaining momentum, so my zucchini repertoire continues to expand. This recipe is based on the famous Melanzane Parmigiana but is made with fresh zucchini instead of eggplant, along with a sauce from their garden team-mate, fresh tomatoes. It is, for me, Italian comfort food at its best, and good when I feel tired. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use a large can of tomatoes instead. Start the prep early, given the stages to this homely dish.
Zucchini Parmigiana (Serves 4-6 with salad and a side dish)
- one kilo medium-sized zucchini
- a little olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed then chopped
- one kilo of fresh vine ripened tomato
- herbs, either fresh basil or fried oregano
- 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- sliced mozzarella
- grated grana padano parmigiano cheese.
- Choose a kilo of medium-sized zucchini. Cut the ends off and slice them vertically. Don’t cut these too finely as they need to stand up to some intense cooking and hold their shape in the final layering.
- Choose a gratin baking dish, either oval or oblong. Butter or oil base and sides.
- Grill the sliced zucchini on a stove top ridged griller. When all done, keep aside and season lightly as you go.
- Skin the tomatoes, then chop them, removing most of the seed.
- Add some olive oil to a saucepan, cook the garlic briefly, then throw in the tomatoes and herbs. Let the sauce simmer and cook down slowly for 30 minutes or more. Add tomato paste to thicken. The sauce should still have some texture, unlike tomato passata.
- Begin layering the dish, starting with a little sauce, followed by the zucchini (cut these to size as you go to match your serving dish). Then some mozzarella, then some grated parmesan.
- Continue layering in this way until the ingredients are used, finishing with a cheese layer.
- Bake in a medium oven, 180c FF for around 20 minutes or until the top has coloured.
- Serve with a side dish that will soak up the juices. I chose some orecchiette with a little butter, pepper and fresh basil leaves. Mash is also good or just crusty bread.