2 medium aubergines 2 eggs, lightly beaten 60g (2oz) plain flour 3tbsp olive oil, a little more if needed 1 large onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 500g carton passata 2tbsp fresh basil ¼ tsb caster sugar salt and black pepper 250-300g (8-10oz) mozzarella cheese, sliced 50g (2oz) Parmesan cheese, grated.
1- Cut the aubergines into 1cm (1/2in) slices. Dip into the beaten eggs, then into the flour, shaking off any excess.
2- Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergine slices in batches, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden, adding more oil between batches if necessary. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3- Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, and cook gently until soft. Stir in the passata, garlic, and basil. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper.
4- Spoon some of the tomato mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish and cover with a layer of aubergine slices, then with a layer each of mozzarella and parmesan. Continue layering, finishing with tomato mixture, mozzarella, and parmesan.
5- Bake in a preheated oven at 190ْC (375ْF, Gas 5) for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.
For a lighter version of this dish, omit the egg and flour coating for the aubergines in step 2, lightly brush the slices with olive, and grill or chargrill them until golden brown on each side.