Colline di Luce

Ohhhh this Eggplant Pie is simply wonderful! Torta di Melanzane… at it is best!

Torta di Melanzane ….. Eggplant Pie

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

400 g (14 oz) tinned whole tomatoes, puréed

1 handful basil leaves, torn

1.2 kg (2 lb 12 oz) eggplant (aubergine), cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) thick slices

200 g (7 oz) mozzarella, sliced

Freshly grated parmesan and fresh herbs, for sprinkling


300 g (101/2 oz) unbleached plain (all-purpose) flour

12 g (1/4 oz) fresh yeast dissolved in 130 ml (41/2 fl oz) warm water

2 teaspoons salt

To make pastry Place the flour in a mound on a work bench and make a well in the middle. Pour in yeast mixture and incorporate a little of the flour. Add the salt and incorporate the rest of the flour. Knead dough for 7–8 minutes or until it is springy to the touch. Cover with a bowl and rest for 40  – 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, place olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook for 20 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Heat a heavy-based chargrill pan over medium–high heat until very hot. Cook eggplant, in batches, on both sides until well browned and tender.

Preheat oven to 190˚C (375ºF/Gas 5). Roll out dough and line base and sides of an oiled 25 cm (10 in) springform cake tin. Place a layer of eggplant on the base, top with a layer of mozzarella, cover with one-third of the tomato sauce and season. Repeat twice more, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until pastry is golden, turning it halfway through cooking. If it is browning too fast, cover with foil when you turn it. Rest for 30 minutes before serving (this makes it easier to cut into slices). Serve hot or at room temperature sprinkled with parmesan and fresh herbs.

Serves 6

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