I am usually put off recipes straight away when they have the word “Diet” in them as I assume they will be tasteless or require a bunch of ingredients that I don’t have, well I was surprised as this tastes too naughty to be good.
Also I love cooking with fennel as I love the smell of it as it cooks – not tried cooking with a fresh fennel bulb yet, then try this recipe as the taste of fennel is quite mild so it wont overpower the dish.
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 fennel bulb (peeled and diced)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
2 garlic cloves(crushed)
1 large aubergine (sliced into 1/4inch round slices)
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
400g chopped tomatoes
100ml tomato passata
1 tablespoon basil (dried or fresh)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
First off make the sauce by sauteing the onions and garlic on a medium heat in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, add the fennel and cook until the fennel has softened (about another 5-8 minutes) and the chopped tomatoes, passata, the basil and oregano bring to the boil and then simmer for a further 5 minutes. Take off the heat.
Meanwhile grease a casserole using a drop of oil and place a layer of aubergine slices, top with some of the sauce, sprinkle a third of the mozzarella cheese over the sauce, and lay another layer of aubergine slices – repeat the process of adding the sauce and cheese, until you are out of aubergine and sauce. I managed to stack 3 layers of aubergines, but this will depend on the size of your casserole dish.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the aubergine is tender.
Remove foil cover add the cup of Parmesan cheese and place back in the oven until the cheese has melted.
I served this with a side of salad, but its also great on its own. It also worked well with some grilled chicken the following day.