1.5 kg of organic tomatoes plum or beef
1 medium white onion, diced
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt, sugar, pepper to taste
1 pinch sweet or hot smoked paprika
1kg purple aubergine
250g smoked burrata, torn into walnut-sized pieces (see note)
40g freshly grated Parmesan
Smoked paprika, to taste
For the basil pesto:
50g freshly grated Parmesan
30ml neutral oil
Salt to taste
You will also need a blender, a ridged cast-iron griddle pan, and a deep baking dish. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degreesC.
For the basil pesto, place all ingredients in a cup, use a hand blender and blitz until smooth.
Cut the tomatoes in wedges and remove the seeds. Sweat the onion over low heat in a medium-sized saucepan until very soft. Add the tomatoes and continue on cooking on low for an hour and a half. Season with salt and sugar to taste, stir and reduce until thick, almost like ketchup. Add a pinch of smoked paprika, then use a hand blender to puree until very smooth.
Remove the stem of the aubergine and cut into 1.5cm slices (making 12-16 slices total). Using a small knife, score the surface of the aubergine in a criss-cross, season with salt and pepper, and set aside until the water appears on the surface. Wipe the excess water off using a kitchen towel, and grill the aubergine on a cast-iron griddle, preferably one with ridges.
To assemble, in a greased baking dish, alternate slices of aubergine with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, a handful of grated Parmesan, a few dollops of basil pesto and smoked burrata.
Keep layering like a lasagna until you have three or four layers.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, then top with a generous scoop of burrata and cook until melting. Allow to set up for 10 minutes to make slicing easier.
You can also make the dish in individual portions; layer 3 to 4 slices of aubergine per person.
Smoked burrata recently came on the market in the UAE – check Eataly stores or Markets and Platters. If you can’t find it, use regular burrata or smoked provola.