This recipe, which comes from the delightful new book Pieminister: Live and Eat Pie! (Kyle Books, 2023), was inspired by the Southern Italian classic melanzone alla parmagiana. It combines the robust flavors of roasted tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, mozzarella and parmesan cheese in a crisp olive oil pastry. According to the authors, “One bite and you’ll be transported to Southern Italy (not literally, unfortunately. Sorry).”
Makes 4 servings
Olive Oil Pastry
- 1 ¾ cups plus 2 ¾ tablespoons (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 free-range eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 pound, 10 ounces (750 grams) tomatoes, halved
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 chipotle chilli, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 3 aubergines (eggplants), cut into ¼-inch (5mm) rounds
- A knob of butter
- 4.5 ounces (125 grams) mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 5.5 ounces (150 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated (or vegetarian alternative)
- A handful of basil leaves
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- Olive oil, for drizzling, greasing and cooking
Make the pastry:
- Put the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the water and mix. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together to form a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes to make sure it is well mixed. Rest for 5 minutes before use. If not using immediately, store in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped for up to a day.
Make the filling:
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200°C or gas mark 6) and lightly oil a roasting pan.
- Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, in the prepared pan, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Drizzle over more olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic to the tomatoes and roast for another 20 minutes or so. Keep checking to be sure that nothing is burning.
- Remove from the oven, cool until easy to handle, and then tip into a food processor or blender. Drain and chop the soaked chilli and then add to the tomatoes. Add a little water if it is looking too thick. Leave to cool.
- Spread out the aubergine (eggplant) circles in a greased roasting pan or baking tray (you may need to use two trays), and drizzle with oil. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the slices halfway through cooking. Hopefully you can do this while the tomatoes are in the oven, but if you don’t have enough shelves in your oven to do this, you may need to cook the veg in batches (another option is to grill or griddle the aubergine). Remove and leave the aubergine to cool.
- If you have turned the oven off, make sure it is preheated to 400˚F (200°C or gas mark 6). Dust a work surface with flour and flatten the dough on the floured surface. Dust the top with flour and then roll it out, dusting with more flour and flipping the dough over from time to time until it is about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick.
- Grease a 12-inch (30cm) pie dish generously with both butter and olive oil. Lay the dough in the dish, draping any extra dough over the sides. (Any dough trimmings can be made into random pasta shapes and cooked in a pan of boiling, salted water another day.)
- Put a layer of the tomato sauce over the dough, top with a layer of aubergine circles, dot over a third of the mozzarella, a layer of the sauce, a little Parmesan and a few torn basil leaves. Repeat to use up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of the tomato sauce topped with Parmesan and basil. With a sharp knife, slice off the edges of the pastry and then crimp the edges, taking real care to make sure that the edges are as thin as the base. Brush with the pastry edge with beaten egg. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on top. Serve with more torn basil on top.
Excerpted with permission from Pieminister: Live & Eat Pie (Kyle Books, 2023) by Tristan Hoff & Jon Simon. Photo by Rob Wicks.