Melanzane Di Parmigiana


1 white onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Red Chilli
2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
500g Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp. Tomato Puree
2 Large Aubergines
500g Mozzarella
1 tbsp. Milk
Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper


Preheat Oven on Gas Mark 4

Chop onion, garlic, chilli and lightly fry in olive oil.

Once browned, add the chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and tomato puree and leave to simmer on a medium heat. Once bubbling, add 1 tbsp. of milk, season with salt and pepper.

Leave to simmer on a low heat.

Meanwhile, slice the aubergines into medium thickness circles. Heat a frying pan with oil, and once hot, lightly fry all aubergine slices until slightly browned on each side. Once done remove from heat and set aside.

Check the tomato sauce and stir if necessary. Add to taste the basil, and as many chilli flakes as you want J

Slice mozzarella; grate the cheddar and parmesan ready to assemble your Melanzane.

In an oven proof dish, cover the bottom in some of the tomato sauce (not all as you will need this for layering).

Then add the first layer of fried aubergine.

Then top with some of the mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan.

Then coat the cheese with another layer of the tomato sauce.

Repeat the process until you have a dish looking similar to lasagne.

Sprinkle on the last of the cheese on the top layer, along with a few sprigs of basil, salt and pepper, and some extra chilli flakes.

Place dish in the oven for 30-40 to cook through.


Elena xxx

Stubborn Italian meets Healthy Alternatives

If you have ever tried to convince a stubborn Italian male to start eating less red meat, processed carbohydrates and bad fats (I gave up on ‘less alcohol’ a long time ago) then you will know how hard it is.

Due to a change in my Father’s health I have recently been searching for healthier ways to cook old faithful dishes, that I know he will enjoy, but will put my mind at ease. “Put down the pastrami!!! (or the focacia, or the butter) the doctor said you can’t have it” is replied to with “chi se ne frega” – So unless I actually ply it out of his hands – there’s not much hope apart from tempting him into eating a healthier alternative. Talk about parent/child role reversal :p

I thought I would share some of the tips and recipe ideas I have found, I can speak from experience when I say some of them are really tasty (what kind of daughter would I be if I made him eat them alone) so perhaps they can be of use to you.

  • Tuna Carpaccio 

Firsty, I have started to use a lot more fish. Unlike red meat, it’s high in nutrients as opposed to heart clogging compounds (If it sounds like I am regurgitating a health book then its probably because I am). So instead of Steak Carpaccio, i’ve started to use tuna, which actually goes down pretty well.


(All photo’s not my own)

Continue reading “Stubborn Italian meets Healthy Alternatives”

Red Chilli & Prawn Spaghetti


2 dried red chillies
Handful coriander
White onion
2 cloves garlic
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
400g king prawns
1 lemon
1kg spaghetti/tagliatelle
Fresh rocket
Tomato purée

To prepare

Crush dried chillies, coriander and mix with olive oil in a small bowl. Leave the tails on prawns and marinate in the mixture for 20 mins.

Put large pan of salted water on to boil. Once boiling add the pasta and cook to taste.

Finely chop onion and garlic and halve cherry tomatoes. Add a few lugs of olive oil to medium heated pan and add the onion and garlic.

Fry until golden then add the cherry tomatoes. Keep on medium heat. Once the tomatoes have reduced add the marinating prawns with the chill and coriander mixture.

Grate the zest of lemon and add to the pan. Cut and juice the rest and set aside. Season with salt and pepper.

Once pasta has boiled scoop a table spoon of water out and mix with tomato purée and add this to the prawns. Strain the pasta and toss with olive oil.

Scoop pasta out of colander and mix into pan with prawns which will have slowly thickened. Add the juice of the lemon and handful of fresh rocket.

Taste and divide the pasta between plates. Season with salt and pepper.


Elena xxx