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Puttanesca Aubergine Parmigiana

This pepped-up parmigiana is an approximation of another Italian classic, puttanesca. Mind you don’t over-season the sauce – the capers and olives bring plenty of salt to the show. Nutritional yeast adds a deep savoury flavour to the crumb.

Prep: 15 minutes |  Cook: 1 1/4 hours


olive oil, for frying

2 red onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

175ml white wine

1 tablespoon tomato purée

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons capers, chopped

100g green olives, sliced

200ml water

4 aubergines, cut lengthways into 1-cm thick slices

20g basil leaves, torn

50g sourdough breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon nutritional

yeast flakes

zest of 1/2 a lemon

pinch of salt

80g vegan mozzarella, torn (optional)


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Stir in the garlic, wine and tomato purée, then let the mixture bubble away until reduced by half. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, capers, olives and measured water. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich. Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5).

While the sauce cooks, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergine, turning, over medium heat until golden and cooked through. (You’ll use more oil than you think as the slices soak it up as they cook.) Set aside.

When the sauce is ready, mix in the basil leaves. Taste and tweak the seasoning as desired.

In a food processer, pulse together the breadcrumbs, yeast flakes, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon oil. Lay half the aubergines into a large (about 30 × 20cm) baking dish and top with half the sauce. Repeat the layering process to fill the dish. Tear the mozzarella over the top, if using. Top evenly with the breadcrumb mix. Bake for 20–40 minutes, until the top is golden and the aubergine is tender.

Recipe from Dirty Vegan by Matt Pritchard