Aubergine or Eggplant?

Either way it tastes goooooood. This parmigiana isn’t the same rot as usually found in Italian restaurants as a bland starter. Instead, it’s Stovies take on the classic north Italian dish which amps up the flavour with eggs and a piquant tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

Stovies tomato sauce (see below)
1 aubergine
3 tomatoes
1 tbs flour (seasoned with salt, pepper & cayenne)
3 hard boiled eggs
A large handful fresh basil leaves
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
Large handful grated Parmesan
Olive oil

Slice the aubergine just under 1cm thick and toss in the seasoned flour. Heat some oil in a pan and fry off the the slices in small batches until coloured and slightly crisp. This won’t take long and you might need to wipe out the pan after a few batches to stop the excess flour catching.

Cut the eggs & tomatoes into wedges and tear up the mozzarella. Spread a spoonful of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a medium baking dish. This will stop the cooked parmigiana sticking and make it easier to serve. Using half of each ingredient make a layer of aubergine, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves. Cover with half of the remaining tomato sauce and then repeat the process once more. Finish the top with grated parmesan & a good drizzle of oil.

Bake in a hot oven (gas 6) for 20 minutes and serve with salad and fresh bread. We think it’s a brilliantly light yet filling alternative to lasagne. We hope you agree.

Tomato sauce:

1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs balsamic
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 crushed garlic cloves
Salt & Pepper

Chuck everything in pan and slowly simmer for an hour or so. Bosh.

(We could have had a whole post for that but 12 words didn’t quite seem enough)

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A little Lady Marmalade

So you think making jams and sweet treats for your brekkie is difficult yeah? Wrong! It’s surprisingly easy and you can make a tiny, one to two jar batch in a flash. Mrs Stovies has always been a lover of lemon marmalade and finally settled upon this as her favourite recipe. It’s tarte but not sour, sweet but not sickly. Slather it liberally on toast or even better, a crumbly croissant.

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You will need:

3 good sized, unwaxed lemons
1-1 1/2 pints of water
1-1 1/2 lbs granulated sugar

First up give the lemons a good wash. We’re going to take the easy route to get a fine shred marmalade now so arm yourself with a potato peeler and peel the fruit with it. Long strips are the easiest to work with in the next step but it’s not crucial. Once all three lemons are peeled, slice the peel as finely as you can then pop it into a heavy based pot. Squeeze the juice from the lemon centres into the pan too. Roughly cut the lemon innards, wrap in mulin and tie into a loose pouch with string. Add this to the pot too and cover with water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat slighly and continue simmer for an hour.

Remove the pouch of lemon bits. Measure the lemon liquid and peel in a jug and return to the pan. Add 1lb of sugar for each pint of liquid/peel. Once it has cooled a little squeeze the muslin pouch to release the golden goo that will help the marmalade set. Bring the marmalade to the boil again and keep it going for 20 minutes or until setting point is reached. You’ll have about half the volume of liquid & sugar that you began this stage with.

To test for setting chill a small plate in the fridge. Pour a spoonful of the hot liquor on to the plate and pop back in the fridge for 5 minutes. If the jelly goes crinkly when you poke the edge with your finger it’s ready. If not keep cooking and checking every five minutes until it is.

When ready pour into sterilised jars – the easiest way to sterilise them is on a tray, along with the lids at gas 3 / 160′C for 20 minutes. When the marmalade is nearly cool screw on the lids.

Lightning fast!

If you have a hankering for a zingy and fresh sauce to top off your pasta with you got it. This sauce takes the same time to prepare AND cook as the pasta does to boil. Eat your heart out Jamie Oliver – this is the Ten Minute Tea.

The recipe will make enough red pepper pasta sauce for four.

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Ingredients:

1 Red pepper, core & pith removed
4 Fresh flavoursome tomatoes (watery ones just won’t do it justice)
1 Red chilli (medium hot), deseeded if you prefer a mild sauce, leave them in for piquant
3 Garlic cloves
Olive oil
Dried Pasta

Fill a large pan with boiling water and add the pasta with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Take all of the ingredients bar the oil and blitz to a pulp. Pour into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Don’t allow the sauce to boil, we’re aiming for a hot fresh sauce rather than cooking it down.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Pour in the sauce, mix through then serve with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkling of parmesan and a dusting of pepper.