- Dice the 2 outer (end) slices of aubergine, with the peel, and set aside to add to the filling. Use a third (2 tsp) of the olive oil to brush the remaining 8 aubergine slices sparingly on both sides. Heat a ridged griddle or frying pan and brown the aubergine slices for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are tender but not soft. Set aside on a board.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onion, half of the garlic, the red and green peppers, courgette and reserved diced aubergine for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the parsley and half of the diced tomatoes, and continue to cook for a further 5–6 minutes.
- Season the vegetable mixture, add the sugar and pour in the passata. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is richly flavoured and thickened.
- In a bowl, combine the remaining garlic and diced tomatoes with the chopped basil, mozzarella and olives. Set this topping mixture aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).
- Lightly season the aubergine slices. Place a generous portion of the braised vegetable filling at the wider end of one slice and roll up to enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices and filling, placing the rolls side by side in an ovenproof dish.
- Spoon the tomato and mozzarella mixture evenly over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese topping has melted. Garnish with basil sprigs and serve hot or warm.
Some more ideas
*Instead of the courgette in the vegetable mixture, use 1 bulb of fennel, sliced lengthways and separated into strips. *For a quick dish, layer the aubergine slices and braised vegetables in an ovenproof dish, ending with a layer of aubergine on top. Sprinkle the mozzarella mixture over and bake as above.
Not only is mozzarella delicious with tomatoes and basil in this dish, but it also keeps the fat content modest as it contains less fat than other cheeses. Unlike some lower-fat cheeses, mozzarella is still rich in calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve function and proper clotting of the blood.
Each serving provides
A, C, E, B6, B12, folate, niacin, calcium, B1, potassium