Aubergine “Lasagne”with mussels and smoked scamorza
Serves 6 as a starter or 4 as a main
2 large aubergines
1kg fresh mussels in their shells
g thinly pre-sliced smoked scamorza cheese
One cup total chopped onions, celery and parsley for the broth base
One cup white wine, flour and a little butter
Oil for cooking; olive oil q.b.
Wash, pat dry and trim the aubergines. Cut into 0.5cm slices and lightly salt; leave to drain for at least 1 hr. Clean and rinse the mussels; leave over the sink in a colander.
Rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Lightly flour and brush off any excess flour. Fry in hot oil, turning once, until soft inside and crispy golden outside; drain on paper towels. Set aside in a warm oven until assembly.
In a large pot, put in just enough olive oil to sauté the diced vegetables until soft; add the mussels and half the wine. Cover and cook on high heat until the mussels have opened, stirring gently once or twice. Off heat and drain the mussels, reserving the broth.
Pick the meat from the shells, discarding any that haven’t opened or are dry and shrivelled. Set aside.
Make a medium béchamel with strained broth and the rest of the wine.
Now assemble: in a baking dish, place a layer of aubergine, a sprinkling of mussels and a layer of sliced scamorza, covering this last with a thin layer of béchamel; repeat, ending with a layer of béchamel.
Bake in a 210° oven until the top is bubbling, about 12-14 minutes.
Comments: this dish is a lot tastier than it looks!