Mediterranean Layered Bake – delicious layers of potato, tomatoes, aubergine, peppers and courgette topped with a cheesy white bechamel style sauce.
1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil – 6 syns
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g (14oz) of chopped tomatoes (canned)
8 tbs of tomato paste (puree)
480ml (2 cups) of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
a handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of fennel seeds, crushed
1 large aubergine (eggplant), sliced thinly lengthways
3 courgettes (zucchini), sliced thinly lengthways
1kg (35oz) of potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (I used Yukon golds) – * see notes
90g (3.2oz) of parmesan cheese – 3xHEa’s
100g (3.5oz) of mozzarella – 2 HEa’s
1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch – 2 syns
300ml (1.25 cups) of 1% milk – 1 HEa
Olive Oil Spray
Chopped Italian parsley
salt and black pepper.
Add the olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat, once hot, add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes until softened
Add the peppers and garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste (puree), stock, balsamic vinegar, oregano, fresh basil and crushed fennel seeds.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, and allow to gently bubble for 15-20 minutes until sauce reduces down and thickens (it’s important to let the sauce reduce down and thicken otherwise it will be too watery).
Taste sauce and season as needed with salt and black pepper.
Wipe the frying pan clean, spray with olive oil spray and place over medium heat, add the courgette and aubergine in batches until lightly browned on all sides and slightly softened, seasoning with a little salt and black pepper as you do.
Then you can begin the layering.
Add half the tomato sauce to the bottom of the baking tray.
Then add half the courgette and half the aubergine.
Add half the potato slices in a then layer, slightly overlapping each other as you do.
Then add the remaining tomato sauce, another layer of aubergine and courgette and then the final layer of potatoes.
Preheat oven to 200c/fan 180c/400f or gas mark 6
Add the milk to a saucepan, stir the cornstarch with a couple of tablespoon of water to make a slurry, add this into the milk, slowly heating until it starts to thicken.
As it starts to thicken, stir in 30g of the parmesan until melted into the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the potatoes, spreading out so it covers evenly with a spatula
Top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella.
Cover with foil (it’s important you use a deep enough tray so that the cheese doesn’t touch the foil when covered)
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes until the top is lovely and golden.
Sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley
Serve and enjoy!!