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Serves 4-6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 and ¼ 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,
50g sourdough breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
zest of ½ a lemon
pinch of salt
80g vegan mozzarella, torn (optional)

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. This is a brilliant dish that will feed a crowd – one for sharing with your mates of a bottle of wine or two and a decent loaf of crusty bread.

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until starting to soften.
  2. Stir in the garlic, wine and tomato purée, then let the mixture bubble away until reduced by half.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, capers, olives and measured water.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich. Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5).
  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.
  6. When the sauce is ready, mix in the basil leaves. Taste and tweak the seasoning as desired.
  7. In a food processor, pulse together the breadcrumbs, yeastflakes, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon oil.
  8. Lay half the aubergines into a large (about 30 x20cm) baking dish and top with half the sauce. Repeat the layering process to fill the dish. Tear the mozzarella over the top, if using.
  9. Top evenly with the breadcrumb mix. Bake for 20–40 minutes, until the top is golden and the aubergine is tender.

Get it down you!

This recipe is from Dirty Vegan, Matt Pritchard’s first cook book. Order now at Amazon or Waterstones! Published by Mitchell Beazley. Photography by Jamie Orlando Smith and Chris Terry. Dirty Vegan aired on BBC One during January 2019 – find out more on our TV Series page.

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